I take my camera with me everywhere. I don’t necessarily want to get a picture of everything I ever see, but I do like to be prepared when something interesting occurs. And the other day just enforced my personal policy of always being ready (with a camera that is. To hell with being prepared to run out of gas, so long as I can take pictures of the empty tank.) At about 2pm the fire alarm started to go off in the mall I work in. I was sitting at my desk, turned to one of the other guys in the office and he just shrugged at me and said “It’s probably just an alarm or something.” I turned back to my laptop and continued to work, but as I looked out the front I saw herds of people all moving towards the exit. I turned back a little more concern on my face and all of a sudden he was packing his stuff up in a rather swift manner. I turned back to the front of the store and there was a mall manager (or whatever her title would be) going from store to store saying something along the lines of “Hi sorry, we need to evacuate the building, there’s been an electrical fire.” (I wasn’t really paying the most attention. I was tired so I was zoning in and out. Just goes to show that even in the middle of a burning building you can still be bored.) And that’s when you think to yourself “well shit.”
I packed my stuff up, closed the shop, and headed for the back. Right at the moment I was walking out the door a fire truck pulled into the drive way. I just stared as it was doing it’s thing, lost in thought and awe. Then I realized what I was witnessing and went “OH FUGGLEMONKEYS” (in my mind anyway. I would have gotten some glares from spectators and firefighters alike if I just shouted in the middle of mostly silence accompanied by sirens) and grabbed my camera. This was a super cool moment and I didn’t want to miss it. I started snapping pics of the truck and the firefighters as they got out of their vehicle. I wasn’t able to get a whole lot because I didn’t want to crowd them and make their job difficult as they were about to enter a building that was on fire with the express purpose of confronting that fire. Kind of a big deal. (I’m actually fairly certain the fire was quite small but after I snapped some pics I went home so I don’t know the entire story as to what happened.)
In the end I wound up with some decent shots. And some blurry ones. Because my shutter speed was low. goddamnit. Even when you’re completely prepared, small things can still screw you up. It happens though, and several of the shots turned out as cool as I could have hoped. Including one of three of the fighters doing the hero’s walk while one of them was wielding an axe. Ultimately it was a pretty exciting experience to be in the midst of the action like that (only way it would have been more exciting is if we were trapped inside and had to make a heroic escape by jumping through the dancing flames. Alas the fire was not that big.) And reminded me that I keep my camera with me wherever I go for good reason.
P.S These aren’t quite as “artsy” or pretty as some other stuff on here. I was kind of limited with time since they were only in my view for a total of about a minute or two. they were fast but I got what I could. I was happy with the turn out even if they’re not the prettiest or artsiest firefighter photos in the world.