“How’s your camera doing?
“Just fine. Why?”
There’s a house fire in progress across the alley over here, and I thought you’d like to know about it.”
By the time I arrived after taking five minutes for a two minute sprint because of some stupid fence problems,, the flames coming out of the roof at 408 West Allen had begun to subside under the expert management of Springfield Fire Department (SFD) fire fighters. There was still a lot to photograph. Pictured below are the best of them. Sunday’s SJ-R gave excellent ink the the fire but here’s my story.
By the time I arrived, the SFD was fully set and engaged with probably five trucks and crews. I have seen some stars gnerating less light than they put on the buring house and those nearby. No one was going to trip over a hose or equipment wth that kind of support. A hook and ladder ttruck cew had placed a firefighter directing a heavy stream of water onto the roof from above, at the top of the ladder extended probably 80 feet skyward. It was hard to believe flames could continue with that kind of volume from on high, plus three hoses on the ground in front and at least one in the back of the house. It was amazing those near by wern’t standing in ankle-deep runoff water, but it was all staying where it was directed. A neighbor who lives next door to the burning house told me they had earlier thoroughly covered adjacent houses with water to prevent an errant glowing ash from spreading the conflagration. She was impressed and clam-happy by the effort put out by the SFD.
It was obvious when I arrived the fire had been stopped cold. It was just a matter of soaking every cubic inch of “hot” with water. I departed after watching it for 40 minutes. The large crowd from Sankey Hi-Rise acrross the street and from the neighborhood remained well back from the activity. I used to take pictures for the Springfield Dapartment of Public Health and Safety (long story) so I knew where to move in closer and what not to do. But I also credit my Animal Protective League Waggin’ Tales Shelter sweatshirt I was wearing. Nobody’s going to get face with a guy with a bog ol’ camera and an APL sweatshirt.
I haven’t returned to the scene, but will Monday.. I”m glad to know the owner and his family weren’t hurt, and I pray they are able to salvage some things from the rest of the house.
It was a nutty night!
Pictures below are thumbnailed. Click on any for a larger view and “back to return to this page.