Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fire in the 'Hood

There was a little excitement in the neighborhood early this morning, but only the very early risers (like us) got to witness it. When I came out into the living room, I noticed a police car and then some fire engines heading south toward the airport. I didn't really think anything of it--probably a car accident or something going on at the airport. I went about my normal 4 AM birdfeeding chores, but as I was out in front of the house filling the birdbath, I noticed huge, billowing clouds of orangey-colored smoke right across the highway. I ran to the backyard and could see flames shooting up into the sky! Holy Moly!! I ran upstairs to alert Mr. Johnson and grab my camera. I shot a couple blurry (unusable) photos from the deck and then hauled a** out to the edge of my yard for some closer and better pics. (If you happened to notice the little distance marker on the bottom of the map above, my photo spot was about 200 yards away from the fire.)

The Rochester Fire Department already had their snorkel in place and had just started shooting water onto the flames. In my photos, it looks like the warehouse right in front is on fire, but it's actually right behind this one (see the map above).

Here's another shot of the water really streaming down on the fire now.

Mr. Johnson graciously agreed to take a short detour on the way home so I could get one more picture of the fire aftermath in the daylight. "Results of the investigation" as to the cause of this fire are "still pending," according to local media. Fortunately, no one was hurt and no other businesses in the area were involved.

I applaud the efforts of our Rochester Fire Department. It's gotta be tough getting woke up at 3:45 in the morning, knowing you have to go fight a fire in a warehouse full of chemicals when the temperature's about 12 degrees and you have no idea how long you're going to be out there. This last photo was taken about 2:30 and some of those firefighters were still on the scene monitoring hotspots.


Mama Pea said...

Wow, that must have been a real morning-waker-upper! You got some good pics, too.

You feed the birds at 4 a.m. every morning?!? What kind of a schedule are you on, Dear Girl? Do you start work earlier than "normal" people? What time do you go to bed at night? Yes, I'm being nosey. But this is interesting!

Kallen305 said...

I am glad to hear nobody was hurt. Great pics.

I thought I was dedicated feeding the birds at 5:30 every morning, I can't even imagine 4am!! Do you sleep?

Dana and Daisy said...

that will get the blood pumping faster than a double shot espresso with sugar!

Shellmo said...

Those birds must love that you get up that early!! What time do you go to bed?? lol! Glad no one was hurt in the fire.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mama Pea,
We are definitely not "normal" people!

Hi Kim,
I sleep, but usually not enough. Thank God for caffeine!

You got that right Dana! I was definitely wide awake first thing this morning!

Hi Shelley,
It's a lot tougher in the winter when it's dark out, but occasionally I get to hear some owls hooting so that's one benefit. Once summer rolls around, you'd be surprised how early in the morning it gets light.

Anonymous said...

Who needs caffeine when there is a fire in the neighborhood. Even I would wake-up for that. You got some great shots during and after. It looks like the warehouse is a complete loss. I hope their insurnce covers their losses. It was on the evening news. Thanks for the during and after pics.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am glad you weren't adversely affected Ruthie. Goodness, what a mess.

Lynne said...

Art and I were just talking last night that sadly it's the time of year to start hearing about house fires in the news.

Marsha said...

I can't believe you are feeding/watering birds at 4 am either! You must have an early work schedule. The fire shots and aftermath shot is amazing BUT....

what the heck were you doing standing 200 yards away from a warehouse full of chemicals on fire? Weren't you afraid of toxic smoke coming your way? When a train derailed in our community and a cloud of chemical escaped they evacuated half the town.

Okay that was my motherly lecture for the day...just worried about your safety :-)

Deb said...

4 AM bird feeding? Wow, you are dedicated!

I have a coworker who is a firefighter, granted in a very small town. Nonetheless he has to wake up and fight fires, direct traffic on freeway accidents, whatever they call for. I really don't know if I could do that.

dAwN said...

Yikes 4 am.......funny we are more shocked by when u get out to feed the birdies then the raging fire near you...LOL
I noticed you have birdie festivals in your sidebar
we are going to the
spacecoast bird festival
i was told it was one of the best...
NOw go to bed girl...you gotta get up early..

Mary said...

Awww... You made me remember my Dad - retired Baltimore City firefighter who used to let my brother and I hop in the car to see a huge fire. He'd take us when he was off duty. Kudos to firefighters around the world!


KGMom said...

No one needs that kind of excitement! Especially not first thing in the a.m.

Meggie said...

Kudos to the Rochester Fire Dept. and firefighters everywhere for their bravery and fine work.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
I was actually running back into the house! Jeepers--that was maybe a little too much excitement for 4 AM, don't you think?

Hi Lisa,
Fortunately, we didn't have any high winds either like we experienced over the weekend. I saw in the newspaper though that one of the fire trucks got stuck in a trench from some nearby construction.

Hi Lynne,
There have been a series of house fires around this area too--a very bad time of year for those disasters.

Hi Marsha,
I didn't hear about the chemicals in the warehouse until the local news finally put something on their website around 8 AM. Fortunately the wind was blowing from the south, so none of it was coming my way. Of course, I wasn't even thinking there might be something dangerous over there, I thought the warehouse held pallets!

Hi Deb,
I couldn't be a firefighter either. Seeing a pileated woodpecker at my suet feeder would be enough of an adrenaline rush for me!

Thanks Dawn. I've heard great things about the Space Coast festival too and who wouldn't want to visit Florida in the middle of winter. Thanks for the link--I'll be adding it soon.

Hi Mary,
I had an uncle in Chicago who followed the fire department too. Many of the firefighters knew him well and he used to show us some fantastic pictures from big fires. Firefighters are special people--putting their life on the line with every call. I know I wouldn't be willing to make that commitment.

You're definitely right about that Donna--especially when it's so disastrous.

Gaelyn said...

That's a little bit too close for comfort. You sure are an early bird.

Mel said...

That is EARLY!! :S
I can't be too close to fire, I just freeze (can't move)
Ironic, isn't it?

Mary C said...

It's amazing how emergency vehicles, be it police or fire or ambulance, gets our adrenaline going. Who needs an alarm clock when that happens so closely in the neighborhood? ;o)

Leedra said...

2 post that make me thankful for the job I have. The first, that I have a job. This one that the job is inside sitting at a computer.

Red said...

Wow! Those guys (and probably gals) are great :) Looks like they got there pretty quick and did all they could. Warehouses have to be one of the worst in dangers fighting the fires. I sure hope it wasn't arson.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Gaelyn,
You're right, looking back on the event now, it could have been much worse.

Hi Mel,
I'm much more productive in the morning than afternoon or evening, so our schedule works out great.

Hi Mary C,
We hear quite a few sirens on the highway going past our house. I usually don't think much of it unless I hear them stop close by.

Amen Leedra, I think we probably all have the same thankful thoughts.

Hi Red,
The cause of the fire was unbelievable: They were planning to add on to this warehouse and the contractor (in an effort to thaw out the ground next to the building) apparently put a bunch of charcoal on the ground, lit it, and then covered the whole thing so it would char down and heat up the ground to thaw it. Unfortunately it was too close to the building and started it on fire. I have never heard of anything so stupid in my life--I hope they don't hire the same contractor to rebuild this warehouse!

Jayne said...

That's some scary stuff Ruthie. You got some great photos.

Red said...

That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard! I don't think he'll be getting much business after this either.