fire trucks and chaos

IMG_0165.jpg, a photo by Lily M-C on Flickr.

Earlier this week we settled down to eat dinner only to be interrupted by a barrage of sirens rushing down the street.

This is not an entirely uncommon occurrence, as we live on one of Atlanta’s major throughways, but the sirens just kept coming. And then we started to hear a strange series of pops–something like gunshots but not quite. At this point I moved to the window to see if I could see anything. I could tell something was going on because the cars in the driveway weren’t moving, and the concierge from the building behind us had walked outside up towards the street.

But it wasn’t clear what was going on until a rush of flames became visible in the windows of the aforementioned highrise behind us.

We hurried outside to figure out where the fire was coming from—trying not to panic too much–and found a crowd gathering outside our apartment building. The fire was in a building directly across the street–a bike shop. Turns out the noise we had heard was rubber tires exploding one by one.

There were so many firetrucks and police cars I couldn’t count them all, stretched up and down the street in either direction. There were firemen on the street, in the windows, climbing on the roof–everywhere you looked there were ladders and hoses and giant water cannons shooting into the building. I’ve never been so close to a fire of this size.

I hadn’t brought a camera–this trip outside has mostly been to confirm that it wasn’t in fact our own building on fire–but everybody around us had a phone, camera, ipad or some recording device pointed towards the flames. We watched for a while, talked with some neighbors, and when it was clear things were under control headed back inside.

About half an hour later we went back out, this time with my little camera, to see what was going on. This is an image of the truck closest to us, attached to the fire hydrant next to our driveway. The hoses stretched down the street in every direction.

A sizeable crowd was still gathered–this time there were news crews and movie cameras added to the mix–but most people had dispersed. I have no idea how long it took the road to clear off–these photos were taken around 9:30/10:00 at night. By the time we drove by the next morning the building was already boarded up.

You can see the rest of the images on my flickr site:

At this point, there’s no word on what caused the fire. And thankfully, nobody was injured–though apparently the smoke and property damage to the surrounding stores was pretty significant.

Just figured I’d share my photos and story–sorry for the bummer of a post! I’m not in a very holiday-ish mood yet, hopefully things will start to look up soon.


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