Photographer's Note

A few months ago I started sharing some photos from a large fire that consumed an old warehouse a few miles from my home. As I said it first caught my attention when I went outside and saw a giant cloud of dark black smoke billowing into the sky. So, of course, I had to find it.

By the time I arrived the fire had been burning for some time and Detroit Fire was on the scene doing their usual excellent job of controlling and fighting the inferno. It was the second time they had been called to a large scale fire in just a few months.

Once again they had their work cut out for them. This was a typical old Detroit neighborhood of wood frame homes tightly packed, one on top of another. Many of the homes have long since been torn down or burned down but tightly packed clusters like this still dominate this west side neighborhood. And right in the middle of it all was an old warehouse, burning only meters from the packed neighborhood.

To an observer it would seem the whole block would be lost, warehouse, homes and all. The wind was strong, blowing right over these homes. Who could imagine they'd be able to stop the flames and hot embers from jumping a few meters into these homes. You can check out the satellite image linked on the left to see just how close these homes and an old church building were to the fire.

By the time I took this photo the fire crews had rescued people from the homes, set up hoses in all directions and had trucks all around the building. High above ladders were set up above the roofs and dangerously close to electric lines to battle the blaze from above. Since the homes were between them and the fire ladders were set up high over the homes to battle the blaze from above and keep the home safe.

It was constant work to make sure the homes were saved. At this point a few firefighters were readjusting the ladder, probably to meet some new threat posed by the flames, while others discuss the situation.

At the end of the day all the homes were saved. No one was put onto the street because of another fire. And once again the professionalism of the Detroit Fire Department showed through, despite the recent budget cuts and crisis of the city.

You can see the other photos posted so far in my Fire on the West Side theme.

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Additional Photos by Paul Mastrogiacomo (pamastro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2679 W: 164 N: 2696] (7296)
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