Beautiful Sunsets

We have been fortunate to have some pretty sunsets the first few weeks of January along with the snowfall…one I photographed with my camera after spotting the approaching colors,  at the ballpark near the city pool….

0126 Ballpark


0126 Ballpark Tree


0126 Ballpark Tree 2


Sonic Sunset 0126

…and the next day, I only had my cellphone camera and shot the pretty sunset with it…

0127 Ballpark 2

…the melting snow on the dirt of the ball diamonds, adding a nice reflection to the pretty colors…

0127 Ballpark 3

more than likely, the next installment will be more snow images, as we are bracing for a historical snowstorm starting early tomorrow morning…

Trailer Fire in the snow…

Within a day of the house fire, we responded to another structure fire, a mobile home fire, on Hwy 185 south of town…I was out and about in town and a few minutes behind the trucks.  I heard radio traffic advising units responding, to slow down when they hit the Washington County line on Hwy 185 because the road wasn`t as cleanly plowed as it was inside Franklin County and he was right…I never did hit a spot where I slid but it was def more snow covered and appeared to have only been plowed down the middle…didn`t even look like the blade had been lowered all the way down to the roadbed. The trailer sat on a curve so I decided to park at the intersection of Ruby Road, which was across the highway and turned my truck to face north and plugged in my blue strobe light to slow traffic down on approach to the fire, since our trucks were parked in the northbound lane blocking it, and approaching northbound traffic would have to come to a stop on a hillside as well.  Due to that and being about five minutes behind the trucks, I didn`t capture the heavy flames that the crews saw on arrival.

Here is how it looked when I arrived….


Heavy Smoke Rolling From Trailer 2

Heavy Smoke Rolling From Trailer the juniors were taking salvage covers to the interior crews so that interior furniture and valuable possessions could be covered and saved from water damage….

Taking Salvage Covers Inside

…as Davey was stretching another line to assist the interior crews…

Davy Stretches 2nd Hoseline

…and then operated it once it was charged, to put out the eaves flames…

Davey Operates Second Line

…a few of our newer junior firefighters responded with the crews and helped in the extinguishment  and mop up operations…

Juniors Overhaul Trailer

..and the interior crews made a good stop despite heavy fire on arrival…

Interior Crews Mopping Up

House Fire Fully Involved…

After several weeks of inactivity, we had a structure fire last week…the call came in a few minutes before I was going to lay down for my nap ahead of work that evening…but since I had a few minutes, I grabbed my camera and Missy and I headed for the truck. From the address given on the pager, I knew it was close to a buddy`s house so we took off and headed over there, only like a mile from my house and about halfway there, I heard a radio report advising the house fully involved, shortly after that seeing the column of black smoke…I pulled into my buddy`s driveway and hoofed it a block up to the house and this was my first photo….

Fully Engulfed Prior to Arrival

..the house sat back in some trees and the clouds were darkening down on us so it looks more like dusk here…but the flames were rolling out the front and side of the house…

3 Well Involved

…so then I moved over to the south side of the house and shot this one…

4 Fully Involved

..heavy dark smoke started coming from the back room windows….

8 Heavy Fire Consumes Roof

and heavy fire was blowing out the windows on the north side already too…

10 Heavy Fire North Side

…by this time I heard the siren on Pumper 854 arriving from Station Five and so I backed up and shot a few photos of it on approach…..

11 Well Involved on 854 Arrival

…and pulling up in front of the house….

13 Pumper 854 Arrives

Davey pulls the handline off the pumper……

15 Davey Pulls Hoseline

…and stretches it out…..

16 Davey Stretches a Line

..while the fire rages on….

18 Front Porch Now Engulfed

…and Davey, joined now by Captain Dave, stretch the hoseline around to the back of the home, intending to push in from the back door and hopefully save something for the investigators to sift through….

19 Davey Joined by Capt Dave

..and so they hit the fire hard and heavy from the back door, Davey on the nozzle and Captain Dave backing him up….

20 Davey and Dave Attack Back of House

..and heavy flames continue to dart out the windows and doorways, even multicolored flames, green indicating freon from possibly an air conditioning unit inside the house….

22 Davey Backed up by Capt Dave

…and not seeing whats going on from my vantage point, they have no idea of what effect, if any, they are having on the entire house….

23 Heavy Fire in Front Still


24Trying to Gain Control

..where heavy fire continues to roll out the front windows of the house….

25 Still Trying to Control Flames

..and the back window on this side, shows heavy fire still inside the back of the house…

26 Cant Make It Inside Back

..and since the front of the house is still heavily engulfed and going strong, Captain Dave backs up and consults with Command via radio and a decision is made to do something differently…

28 Heavy Fire Remains Rooted in Front

..the next in crew and truck hadnt yet arrived, but was only seconds from arrival, so Davey and Dave hit it again from a different angle this time and hitting the ceiling to go for a steam conversion attack…

29A Davey and Dave Still Trying

..and the flames along the back wall seemed to just intensify….

30 Up to The Back Door Now

..and then more green flames started mixing in with the orange flames…

32A Heavy Fire Either Side of Davey and Dave

..and heavy fire started rolling out on either side of the guys now……and heavy dark smoke started coming out from the ceiling area as well….

33A Multi Color Flames near Davey and Dave

…and the smoke at the roofline really darkened down….

34 Heavy Fire Rolls Out Window

..and Davey and Dave kept at it, and eventually the smoke and fire load lightened up some…the crew in front were also hitting the front of the house with a deck gun on Pumper 854 too….

35 Davey Changes His Angle on Nozzle

..resulting in a good knockdown…

37 Ray Manns The Pump on 854

…at this point, my camera battery went dead and then my phone battery died as well and so I went home to get my nap in. 

Gorgeous Sunrise

Last week, on my way home from work, I looked back in the rearview mirror about the time I hit Antire Hill on I-44 westbound and saw what appeared to be a beautiful sunrise appearing in the clouds behind me, and since I had a full charge on my cellphone, and since it has a very good camera within it, I decided to stop a few times on the way home at key locations and shoot the sunrise, if it panned out as beautiful as it potentially appeared it would. I`ll let you be the judge on how pretty it was.

1 Sun Rising at Eureka is  the sun coming up before I crossed the Meramac River Bridge by Times Beach….with a few cars coming down the highway behind me….the next few photos are shot from the west side of Six Flags near Eureka…

4 Truck Streaks By

…the streaks are big trucks flying by me as I`m taking the picture…..the next one actually shows the truck as it approaches my position…

5 Sun Rising Truck Approaching

…my next stop was Shawneetown Ford Road and the South Service Road, there is a barn on the south side that looks like an old mill and a pond near the bottom of the hill…

7 Sun Rises Near Barn


10 Sun Rises Deeper Over Pond

..and then I drove on west to the valley just west of Highway AH, where there is a lone cottonwood tree out in the field on the south side of the service road there…the clouds were absolutely stunning there…

14 Stunning Just Gets Better


17 Stunning and Deep Sunrise

and this final one…


Barn Fire Jan 2nd, 2011

Sure was glad I was able to go to bed early Saturday night, New Years Day, cause the next morning started early for us firefighters…I was sleeping good at 7 am when my pager went off and the dispatcher announced a Barn on fire near the north end of our district. I bounced out of bed and Missy bounded from the bed and waited by the sunroom door as I got dressed…I knew it was gonna be cold out so I layered up, grabbed my camera and out the door we went to the truck…so glad it warms up fast, cause it was really cold out and seems like as soon as you get inside one, it gets even colder. Heater was running on full blast tho by the time we hit the new Elmont Bridge over I-44 and as soon as we crossed over we fell in right behind Ray Enloe who was driving our tanker out of Station Five. Ray was doing a good job of driving it and as we neared the old Wolf Run Farms, I heard Bob respond with Pumper 834 out of Station Three, so we knew he would be on scene shortly and give us a size up…we spotted a brownish gray column of smoke to the northwest shortly after that, so we knew it was going pretty good. Just past the old Japan store, we heard Bob go on scene and advise the barn was fully involved and partially collapsed…I hoped if any animals were inside before they were out ahead of the fire. As we approached the turnoff to Pine Valley Road, we caught up with the Station Five pumper, 854, which I took as a bad sign, figured it musta been running sluggish again. As we made the top of the hill on Pine Valley, I looked to my left and saw what was left of the barn smoking heavily…partially collapsed as Bob had said…

On Arrival, Partial Collapse

…since the ground was frozen solid, the drivers pulled through the gate and joined Bob up in the field near the barn…I pulled off to the side of the road and left the truck running and the heater on low for Missy…arriving about 7:15, I wound up staying for three hours…found out soon after arrival that the barn owner had over forty goats inside the barn at the time of the fire, many with newborns, all perishing in the fast moving fire. He also lost his tractor and several large round bales of hay. Right off the bat, while cooling things down so firefighters could enter the remaining structure, several sheets of tin had to be removed to an out of our way location, and with a few junior firefighters along, we had a good work crew for that task….

On Arrival, Jimmy On Nozzle


On Arrival, Barn Entrance Work

Our juniors do quite a bit of work, they relieve the rest of us of a lot of extra work we would have to do if they weren`t there, so many of us are grateful to have them on our department and responding to the calls with us.  They are a good bunch of hard working guys and gals, and have a good crew of supervisors training them and watching over them, too.

Hay Bale on Fire by Barn


On Arrival, Pulling Tin

..I backed off and shot some with the smoke plume going way up into the cold sky…

On Arrival, Smoke Flume Over 834


On Arrival, Waiting for Water

..getting the sheets of tin out of the way enabled our guys to get in and put some water on the hot spots remaining inside the structure, which we found out was originally a block structure..most barns are frame structures from the get go…

Billy aka Dr Destructo in Action

…Billy Harris, aka Dr Destructo, in action here knocking down some of the block wall to make it safe for the others walking around inside…last thing we would want to have to do is dig someone out if they had this wall fall down on them. The steam and smoke cloud from hitting the hot spots provided some nice photo opportunities while I was there…

Billy and Jimmy In Smoke


Cody and Jimmy In Smoke

and while Cody appears to be sitting in this next one, I assure you he isnt, or we would have been hitting his butt with the hose, that bale is definitely on fire…

Cody and Jimmy In Smoke 2

…I had several images of firefighters in and emerging from smoke clouds, reminding me of the song, Ghost Riders in the Sky….

I moved over to the west side of the barn as I saw the sun shining through the smoke and forming a pattern of the tree on the east side of the barn…

Entrance to Barn Silhouette

..and from this side, it was easy to see alot of the heavy smoke was coming from several round hay bales stacked up on the side of the barn, and needed to be removed so better access could be gained to the remainder of the hot spots.  Firefighters tried to muscle the top bale off its resting spot…..and Jay Arnold lending a hand to see if two strong backs were better than one…

Trying to Separate the Bales 2

..however it was determined that the bales were just too heavy to move, so they decided to allow them to continue burning instead…

Lets Just Burn Them Instead


Jay Arnold Works The Fire


..and once the fire was burning, we just had to pull layers off and keep it going…pretty soon a few more guys joined the effort…

Team Effort At Stoking Fire

..but even then, the fire wasn`t burning quickly enough, prob due to the cold weather, so we talked to the barn owner and discovered one of his neighbors, Ron Juergens, had come over to check on him and Ron volunteered to help us with his tractor and hydraulic lift on the back of it….

Ron Juergens Lends a Helping Tractor

…and pulled about six bales out for us and took them to the far end of the field so we could roll them out and let them burn out…

Burning Bales Relocated Near 854

…now our Juniors come into play again, helping our senior firefighters pull the bales apart and roll them out so air can get to them and help them burn more freely and faster…here Drew is helping Billy roll one out….

Drew Helps Billy Pull Apart Bale

…and then it just becomes a matter of keeping the fires stoked, allowing air to get to the fire, and rolling them around or stoking them up…

Stirring Up The Bales Fire

The Crew Stirs the Fire Up a Bit More


Rolling Another Burning Bale

and as one can imagine, this creates a lot of smoke, so thick at times you couldnt see the trucks on the other side, not to mention sometimes you couldnt even see your buddy in front of you just a few feet away…again the song ” Ghostriders in the Sky ” comes to mind…

Ghostly Smoke

and if anyone was looking for something…well we would have a tough time finding it I`m sure…

Looking For Needle In Burning Haystack...

and they continued to roll out the other bales and burn them too…

….in the next series of photos you`ll see the smoke again creating opportunities as juniors assist firefighters in rolling out more bales…the barn in the background…

Working Over Another Bale


Working Over Another Bale 3

About this time, hot spots were seen flaring up in the barn structure again, so the juniors were asked to go assist a firefighter on the hoseline at the barn…again more opportunities with smoke and sunbeams created…

Sunbeams Penetrating Smoke Clouds 2

..and more ghostly smoke with firefighters emerging from the clouds and wisps of smoke…

Juniors Work Hoseline Inside Smoke Cloud

and while the juniors were assisting on the hoseline…Jay Arnold was working on a stubborn hay bale that didnt want to burn as fast as we would have liked it to….

Jay Arnold Works In the Smoke

…talk about a super nice guy…I`ve known Jay for a long time, since high school and now he has a son, Kyle, who is a chip off his dad as well…couldn`t find a couple of better guys…


New Years Eve 2010 Fireworks St Louis…

I decided to drive down to St Louis last night and shoot the fireworks, celebrating New Years Eve 2010 ringing in 2011…there was a festive event called Grand Center going on close to St Louis University and I figured I would shoot down around Union Station and that would keep me out of any traffic jams and provide a nice backdrop as well. I had been invited to a New Years Eve party in Chicago, hosted by Lucas, one of my models, but I thought I was going to be leading a group of rockhounds early Saturday morning and wouldnt be able to get back in time for that.  Since I wasnt invited to any other parties, I had some free time on my hands and drove down to shoot the 9 pm fireworks show.

I parked on the east side of Union Station after circling the block and not finding any other suitable and safe area to park in, left Missy to guard the truck and walked up to the front of Union Station and got there just in time for the start of the shells bursting in air….

A Little Windy Tonight

You can tell from this image, that it was a little windy out there…I should have brought a sand bag for my tripod….but there were times that there was no wind too…

Colorful Bursts Looking West

and I was able to get a little bit of Union Station into some of the images too…

Fireworks Shells and Union Station

Pretty Blue Shellburst


Wavy Bursts of Reds and Blues

and then before leaving, I shot a few images of Union Station as well…

Union Station on Market Street

Happy New Year Folks !