Friday, March 14, 2008

Statistically Speaking...

Ladder 6 from Columbia Heights at a fire on Tuckerman Street NW

What are the chances I'd find myself in the vicinity of fires two nights in a row without even trying? In the case of these pictures, I was sitting in my home office yesterday evening, catching up on the day's news when the sound of fire engines, police cars, and ambulances pierced the quiet. Looking out my window, I watched several emergency vehicles scream down the street behind my house.

Engine 4: My intent with this shot was to capture the firefighters in motion
and the colorful lighting of the control panel on the right.


I grabbed my jacket, camera, and tripod and headed out the door. The smell of smoke was again in the air and the flash of lights was right around the corner. On the next block was a home on fire. I didn't take pictures of the fire itself; the DCFD put it out pretty quickly, but the home appears to be a total loss. Here are pictures from tonight's fire scene in the 600 block of Tuckerman Street NW.

Firefighters and a ladder truck in the alley behind the involved home on Tuckerman Street NW

As with last night, my thoughts are with the family who lost their home this evening. And, for what it's worth, I promise, I won't be posting pictures of fire scenes again anytime soon (though I can see how it could be really exciting to be a fire chaser. But I shall refrain. Last night and the night before were enough for me, thank you very much!)

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 3/08

8 comments:

Lara said...

well, I have to agree that there are much pleasant subjects, althou less in excitement... great photos thou!!

The Artful Eye said...

This is life, sometimes it's not so pleasant we can't run from it and documenting it brings it close and raw and makes us aware that we are vulnerable. I'll take the good with the bad, the happy with the sad.

This family is in my thoughts and prayers.

I do worry about you running around the city amok at wee hours of the morning.

Wonderful work.

D.C. Confidential said...

Lara: Hear! Hear!

AE: I agree! Life isn't all sunshine and daffodils all the time (I wish it was, but alas...) As for my running around, I try to limit that, too. Although, the first fire was at midnight. I was out that late, because I was on my way home from a 3.5 hour Bollywood movie I'd been to see with my sister in the States. (Jodhaa Akbar. Excellent film and stunning cinematography.) Last night, it was 8:00 when the second fire happened. I was back home by 9:00!

Still, running amok sounds sort of liberating. I think I'll have a t-shirt made that says, "I'm running amok and no, my mommy does not know where I am" or something! :-)

Washington Rimmasch Family said...

Unfortunately this is part of life. It's sad but true. I think it's great you took time not only to check out what was going on but to document it as well. Speaking as someone who has personally experienced a house fire, I can say I really wish someone in our neighborhood would have taken the time to stop and see what was going on just in case ya know? I think it’s moments like these that make a person take notice and be truly grateful for what they have. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. We will have prayers for the family for sure!
I'm digging the mental image of you in a shirt that says that;) So Funny...

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Oh, wow. I am (nearly) speechless. Such wonderful photo's despite the event. I really love the lighting and the action. I don't know if I'd be brave enough to take the photos, I feel very self concious at times. I want a t.shirt that says "I am an artist" so people won't look at me so strangely. Love your work! Good on you for following your 'nose'. This is press quality, not all of life is happy, photographers can capture many events and emotions. Fortunes being made or lost. I am rambling! Sorry!

gizelle said...

It's nice that sometimes we as DP participants get to photograph such unfortunate events...I send mine to the daily newspapers immediately...

Hope no one got hurt though...

d.c. confidential said...

Niki: Photographing this type of event is so new to me. My main concern was to be respectful and keep my distance, but there is a part of all of us that is curious. As far as I can tell, no one was injured or died in this fire. Thank goodness. As for the t-shirt, maybe I'll one made to wear to next year's family reunion!


Lisa: I felt pretty self-conscious taking these. I want to respect the fact that these kinds of events are tragic and life-changing for people, while at the same time capturing the scene. It's a little uncomfortable (which is why I probably won't become a first chaser any time soon.) Still, I'm pretty pleased with the results.


Gee: As far as I know, no one was hurt. As for sending them to the paper, now you've got me curious. I need to find out if my neighborhood has a local paper. There's no way the Washington Post or Washington Times would accept these. They're "too amateur."

b.c. said...

Very interesting photos--life is happening, you're there and we are too...sorry about this fire and the other night's too...