I had my alarm set for 5 am on Sunday morning, getting up early to take the Memphis Club rockhunting in Eminence, and shortly after 4 am, I heard sirens and the blast of an air horn brought me out of a deep sleep…I missed the initial page of the FD, but immediately heard the dispatcher give the address on Seminary Road and advise flames showing for a residential structure fire. I quickly dressed and then Onxy and I headed to the truck and drove north out of town…by the time we reached Seminary Road I could see a glow in the night sky and as we approached, I could see that the home was fully engulfed in flames. I parked on the side of the road in the grass, set my flashers and hiked up the road a short distance to the front of the home…coming up on the resident of the house as he was walking back across the front lawn…
…only when the heavy smoke cleared somewhat, could I tell it was a brick house….
…this fire did not want to go out…while I was photographing the crews trying their best to get to the flames and knock them down…the wife of the resident stopped by to talk to me and told me how they escaped the house with just the clothes they had on while sleeping and how they had to break through a window from outside the home to get to their grandson in the front bedroom, a very harrowing night for them…as she walked away, I said a quick prayer for her family. I turned the flash off for the next few images….
…and then moved to the side a few feet for a different view of the residence….
…and watched Bourbon`s firefighters kneeling and donning their air masks preparing to assist Sullivan firefighters in the fire attack….
…I left soon afterward as the hour was approaching 5 am. Please keep this family in your prayers, they lost everything they owned that morning, escaping with their lives.
Last week one evening while having supper with my parents, I received a call from Jim Bartle asking if I could cover a house fire for him as he was out of pocket…I drove over to Tipton Street, could see heavy black smoke from the Elmont Bridge on my way there….arriving after the first firetruck in….this was dispatched as a car on fire inside an attached garage. Sullivan crews had made a good stop on it soon after arrival, as the color of the smoke had changed to a dark yellow by the time I arrived….
Just a few days after the wet slushy snow, we were back to dry and windy weather, with more brush fires yet again….
In February, unbelievably, we warmed up into the 70`s and some thought spring had arrived early, and decided to burn their fields and leaves….this one was out north of town one day…I saw the smoke on the way back from supper and drove out to check it out, arriving ahead of the fire department once again. This was the first fire I shot with the video function of my newer camera….
Onyx and I sat up on the hill above the fire on Brewer Road and watched these two guys work around it with a water can sprayer, as the flames raced to the west….
…then the FD arrived with brush trucks and a pumper, which remained out on Erhardt Road and the manpower walked into the scene….
…as another brush truck arrived, one took the north side and one took the south side and they slowly made their way up each side, hitting the fire with water and making sure to extinguish the fire as they moved up the fire lines….
…the fire grew exponentially as the wind increased….moving up the hill didn`t help either….
…and even though you can`t see it in the photo above, the fire reached the neighbor`s driveway on the other side of those cedars, yet Brush Unit 818 was there to stop the fire, obscured by the smoke…..
…and here is what it looked like from my view, without the zoom lens….
…soon forces from the other side met up with forces on the south side, and then soon after, the fire was snuffed out….
In late January, I was returning home from supper when I noticed alot of red and blue lights up on Division Street, so I drove up Jackson Street to investigate and found a house on fire, police on the scene awaiting the arrival of the fire department. As I was photographing the smoke pouring from the front door, and from the rear of the house wrapping around the home, Jim Bartle from the paper walked up…I told him there was more fire at the back of the house but access to that side was limited, he walked around the other side to check it out while I stayed at the front and continued to shoot….
Medic Billy Harris helps with hose….
Luckily the FD made a quick stop on the fire that evening…