Thursday, October 15, 2009

Monroe & 28th & Missing the Picture






I usually don't post spot news type photos on my blog, I already feel weird enough taking pictures of these things for work. This fire and those involved, which occurred last week in Ogden, impressed me.

I was leaving Ogden, heading down 30th street and the black smoke rising stood out angrily against the blue bird sky. I drove towards the smoke which was coming from what looked like a backyard or house set within the block. As I passed the house in the car I saw three men carrying another man up the walkway to the steps of a neighboring home. I had never arrived to the scene of a fire so quickly, there is a different energy there when you beat the fire department that I have never experienced and would be happy if I don't have to again. I ran up to the group of men and asked if there was anyone else. In all honesty, I can still feel that sick feeling in my stomach as I ran across the grass, I was scared of what I was getting myself into but luckily it was just him who was in the house. I ran back to the car and grabbed my cameras, returning to make a quick photo of his scared and dazed face. I ran back and a neighbor scurried in front of me calling out a name. The three men who carried him were now speaking to him in broken English; he was missing a dog. Then he said something about wrapping a towel around a heater and caught his breath.

I spoke with the three men once the firefighters arrived, they were on their way to work when they saw the smoke and went to see what was up. They ended up kicking a door in to get to the man. They told me they didn't know the man from Adam and I watched body sized flames lick out of the front door as the man breathed through a clear plastic face mask. The three were soft spoken and truly did an amazing and brave thing and were probably planning on just heading back to work - only to possibly share the story with a few co workers. I don't think anyone else saw them carrying him, my camera didn't even see it, but I can see it very vividly still. They spoke with a sense of care and reverence for what was avoided, didn't seem like they felt they had done anything extraordinary at all. Perhaps if they'd seen the picture I missed, if they were rolling by in a car, if they'd seen three others, perhaps they'd realize what they did was pretty impressive and compassionate.

3 comments:

MissBuckle said...

Wow. Powerful stuff.

I was just talking to a friend who is a police woman about being first at an accident. She told me she was first at a car crash where someone died, off duty, and it was a completely different feeling. No uniform (or camera) to protect her.

Press, police, ambulances, firemen often arrive after some "normal" person has done the heroic thing. Knowing what is in store.

But speaking from my (little) experience it´s instinctive. I can´t help but help.

mandy said...

Did you hear what happened to the poor man's dog?

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

I love to visit your blog after an absence to scroll through the posts of vivid, exciting imagery - and it's heartening to read of this act of spontaneous heroism.