Devastating House Fire Earlier This Week

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…

01 Fully Involved on Arrival02 Fully Involved on Arrival03 Fully Involved on Arrival

…only when the heavy smoke cleared somewhat, could I tell it was a brick house….

05 Fully Involved on Arrival06 Fully Involved on Arrival08 Fully Involved on Arrival11 Fully Involved on Arrival12 Fully Involved on Arrival

…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. 

House Fire on Tipton Street

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….

04 Car Fire in Garage


06 Car Fire in Garage



Kentucky Rockhunting Trip End of March 2016

Onyx and I drove down to western Kentucky for a machine dig at the Eureka Mine on Thursday March 24th, joined there by a few rockhunting friends from Minneapolis, St Louis County, and then we drove on over to central Kentucky on Saturday afternoon, and hunted in the Danville area as well for a few days. While there we also saw a bit of scenery, everything was in bloom down there also and we had pretty good weather while there too. I`ll include a few of the highlights here but for more of the story, check out my rockhunting blog site at 

01 Sunset Night Before My Trip03 Sunbeams Over Marion Fire Station13 Second Shelf Down Caldwell Stone19 Knobs of Central Kentucky25 Barn Forkland Road Valley45 Rural Road Color62 Color in Rural Fields61 Onxy Soaking Up Some Sun70A Blue Door Barn71 Fence72 Shaker Village73 Shaker Village74 Stairway Trustees Office Shaker Village


And Then Back to Snow a Week Later….

…the week following the week of temps in the 70`s we had snow, wet slushy snow thanks to an upper level disturbance that was fed by the Gulf moisture…came in overnight while I was at work…we watched it snow on the cameras between calls that night…got pretty busy with accidents long about rush hour…so I came out to the parking lot to find a pretty winter wonderland, as well as the ride home…

01 Heavy Wet Snow at Work03 Heavy Wet Snow at Work05 I-44 Thru WG On Way Home06 WB 44 Base of  Antire Hill10 WB 44 Starting Up Antire Hill12  WB 44 Starting Up Antire Hill13  WB 44 Starting Up Antire Hill

…and I stopped off at Shaws Garden Arboretum at Gray Summit on the way home to photograph the lake and trees there….

15 Shaws Garden Restored Mansion16 Pinetum Lake Shaws Garden

…coming out I stopped at the overpass to let Boles Fire District pass through on their way toward Pacific….

18 Boles FPD Responding On Call19 Boles FPD Responding On Call

before heading on home….

20 WB 44 Near Gray Summit

February Grass Fires

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….

04 Flames Grow Higher060810


…then the FD arrived with brush trucks and a pumper, which remained out on Erhardt Road and the manpower walked into the scene….

09 FD Arrives141516 Arrival 81817


…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….

2021 Fire Races Up Hill22 Tyler Goodman Extinguishes Fire with 85825


…the fire grew exponentially as the wind increased….moving up the hill didn`t help either….

2632 Gaining Speed and Ground3941 Catching Up42 Bigger Picture48 Fire Reaches Line of Cedars53


…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….



House Fire at King Residence

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….

01 Heavy Smoke on Arrival03 Firefighters Stretch Line to Rear of House06 Billy Harris Supplies Line at Front Door

Medic Billy Harris helps with hose….

07 Medics Assist at Front Door09 Devin Turner Assisting at Front Door

Luckily the FD made a quick stop on the fire that evening…