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Housefire aftermath (13 pictures)

Discussion in 'Photojournalism, Candids and Street Photography' started by BostonRott, May 30, 2007.

  1. There was a house fire in Millis today, it was discovered by a news helicopter en route to the town next door (where there was a bomb scare). I saw the story when I flipped on the noon news, speed-ate my lunch and headed out.

    By the time Em and I arrived on scene, the major fire was out. I took the opportunity to focus on photographing the Fire fighters on scene as they tidied up the aftermath. Many of them are good friends of mine, so this made my "assignment" all the more enjoyable.

    Shot in JPG with either a D70/28-70 or D200/80-200

    I would love to hear comments, critiques and suggestions. This was my first try at something like this, and I'd like to learn what I can do to improve. :smile:

    Front of the house (this was a BRAND new house)
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    Back of the house
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    A Chief consulting with the troops (there were 3 town's Chiefs on scene)
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    Crew on the back porch (and I got busted!)
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    The back side of the house kept sparking, and the brown dinge on the left of the frame is coming up from the basement......something still burning down there too.
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    Taking off the gear
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    Homeowner thanking the guys of Medfield Fire
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    Millis Fire
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    Fire Marshall on scene.....the ONLY Firefighter in MA who is allowed to carry a sidearm (he's also a State Trooper)
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    Millis Ladder 1 aerial
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    Millis Chief being interviewed by Channel 7 news
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    One final shot of Medfield Fire
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  2. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    The obligatory snap of the front of the house sets the stage for what exactly has occured. I like the second image, it shows the guy reflecting on what had happened. The remaining images are real nice, expecially since you were limited with your access due to Em on your back and the lack of protective clothing. The crops are tight which enhances those who you intended to highlight. Only cool shot that you miss or was not available what the guy who took his water bottle and poured it onto his head. The splashing water off the cranium is always a classic if shot real tight. Nice shooting Gretchen.
  3. Thank you Frank!! I will keep an eye out for water being poured next time! :smile:

    My former ambulance partner (and still very good friend) was on scene and has pictures of me wearing Emilie in the pack and taking pics.....I'll pass them along once he sends them. :biggrin:

    I was happy with how many of these needed little cropping or levels adjustment. Really worked on trying to fill the frame and found that the 80-200 was a great lens for this scene! :smile:
  4. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    So much for your quite little town...bomb scare? House fire?

    Man...they had all the gear out. I think you did well, especially considering your time of arrival. Looks like the FF did well too. Fire is out and the first picture really tells the tale of "having a bad day".

    Like Frank said...tighter crops help some. My shots involved fire as the background when I could, but I had a helmet, jacket, access and no kid strapped to my back! Emilie OK?!

    Nice work Helen :) 
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2007
  5. Thanks Bob!! :biggrin:

    Yes, Emilie loved it, her first words were "Hot!" as she pointed at the house. :tongue: We also caught some over-spray from a stream at the front of the house (we were out back) and she proclaimed "Shower!" Gotta love kids!!!

    I wish I had been there when it was fully rolling, the news footage is impressive.

    Will keep "tight crop" in mind for the future, thank you! Was trying vary between "action" and "portrait." I found I used the 80-200 much more than the 28-70.

    The bomb scare was funny (afterwards). They had received an odd package and a fax with a threat. Turns out the fax was an errant fax from the parent bank. Only parts of the transmission came through and it looked genuinely like a bomb threat. They had to evacuate the next-door daycare (and that made it more sensational for the news guys). Here's a local TV station's report which shows the fax paper: WHDH
  6. Pesto126


    Apr 13, 2006
    Northeast USA
    Hey Gretchen - wonderful photos! I especially like the 3rd one from the bottom and the 2 fireman squatting down. Living right down the street and I didn't even hear about it until you told me! I have to try my hand at these sometime... Thx for sharing!
  7. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Great set of images
  8. Cool series. Emilie will have a wealth of PJ experience before she turns five.
  9. Great shots, I saw the bit on Ch 7, but your more expansive coverage adds a lot. I didn't realize that it was a 3-town affair, for example.
  10. I'm thinking I may have to dig out my scanner someday and start listening to it again. I only knew of this b/c of the lunch-time news! :smile:

    Thank you Gale!

    Well ya know, I wouldn't want her to grow up thinking she led a boring life or anything!! :tongue:

    Thank you! It actually was a lot of fun for me, as I ran with Medfield Fire (on their ambulance) for 12 years, and I live in Millis and intercept them (as a paramedic).....so I knew a lot of the guys who were there. :) 
  11. awsome. is it wrong to say i cant wait till i can shoto a house fire during the day time? ive only had the chance at night.

    good stuf.
  12. Thanks Mike! :smile:

    Yes, strangely enough, most of the ones I've worked as a medic have been at night too.....I can probably count on one hand the number of day time fires I've seen in 12yrs. :frown:

    Some of the most dramatic pictures come from those mid-winter fires where the temps are sub-zero and the water is freezing on hydrants, lines, pipes and FF's. :wink:
  13. jjdesanto1


    May 1, 2005
    Warwick, N.Y.
    John DeSanto
    You did great, Gretchen

    but I've never met a photo that couldn't be improved with a little cropping.

    I hope you don't mind:

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  14. Gretchen,

    Very nice photo work! I hate that it was a house fire as this has always been one of my few phobias I suffer from, but great work anyway.

    Thanks for sharing your fine workmanship.

  15. Great job Gretchen. You told the story well. I always try to get some wide oveall shots of the scene as I arrive, and you did that well with the first two shots. The other thing that I try to capture is the types and positions of the apparatus. It is a shame that you didn't get a few flame shots, but that is always a timing problem. Frank has summed up my commments.
    The bottom line is that your pictures are great, especially with the baby on your back. Thanks for sharing.:smile:
  16. Not at ALL! :smile: It's how I learn best, thank you for your help!
  17. These are terrific, Gret. You might have a new career!
  18. Still haven't heard what the official cause was, heard some speculation on scene, but I never pass around speculation with stuff like this. :wink:

    Thanks Ed! Yes, I unfortunately missed the flames. As to the apparatus, I do have shots, and they were sent to the various FD's (I burned/gave out CD's to 3 fire departments). The fire was on an old, narrow, twisty New England street where two cars can barely pass so a lot of the later arriving trucks were out on the street. The first 3 in (a ladder and 2 engines, 1 being mutual aid) were in the narrow driveway leading into the clearing where these two houses were plunked down (seems they'll build anywhere these days! :mad:  ).

    Because I didn't have any great angles, or over-all shots of the trucks, I didn't post them. :smile:
  19. [FONT=&quot]That’s a great series of shots Gretchen of a tragic moment, but how devastating for the people who own that beautiful house, and to see everything they own go up in smoke. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]But then to see the firemen risking their lives to put out the fire, and they consider this their typical everyday type of job, [/FONT][FONT=&quot] probably trying to[/FONT][FONT=&quot] not think about the dangers, but just doing it by saving peoples lives and property by risking theirs. These guys are local heroes....[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]How ironic that in the first photo that there was a fire hydrant right in front of the house in a bush…. [/FONT]
  20. Part of the reason that it burned so much was that no one knew it was burning until a news helicopter flew over, en route to another story. Had that not happened, it may have burned much longer and be totally gone. :frown: These days, where so many households have both husband/wife working, there's often no one home (or in other nearby houses too) to call the fire in.
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