A Wild Fourth

Of course Independence Day is not complete without a fireworks picture. This year, I actually had my very own tripod! No makeshift lens hoods made out of chips ahoy cookie containers, no propping up my camera with a phone and a wallet. When everything was set up though, the smoke had to ruin my fun.

Today was just one of those days. The ones where something can’t possibly go off without a hitch. I woke up with a migraine, so I went back to bed. Sleep nor medicine worked so I was desperate. A short trip to the 7-11 and a can of rockstar energy (I know, I know. BAD) later, I was feeling all hyped up and ready to go.

I had a few hours to spare before making the trip downtown for fireworks. So I browsed tumblr and twitter until I saw one particular tweet from my city’s fire department. Apparently, right in front of my home, there was a vehicle fire. I grabbed the camera and ran out the door. 

The heat, even across the street, was intense. I felt like I was right in the midst of a bon fire. The fire was eating up the bark, melting the light fixture right between the two trees that were on fire.

Not even the fire extinguishers on sight worked. Once they stopped spraying, the fire fought back.

I think the firefighters that responded were a little amazed at the size of the fire. They used up all of their resources, forcing them to pack up their truck and move to the fire hydrant.

And it wouldn’t be a fire without the whole neighborhood coming out to watch.

A row of iPhones lined the fence. Videos and pictures were taken. People pulled over, parked their cars and secured their own spot in the gawking line.

Firefighting with an audience. I hoped at the time we would all start applauding their hard work when they finished.

Then one of the gawkers looked at me and asked, “are you a journalist?”

I guess it’s a legitimate question when you’re the only one there holding a DSLR and a 300 mm lens in a crowd of iPhones.

When I said yes, there was that look. That look I always get. It’s a mix of “Wow, I’m impressed” and “Wow, please don’t talk to me.”

This happened in a rehabilitation center’s parking lot. Luckily, the fire was contained away from any buildings. No evacuations took place. There were workers there, however, who seemed pretty annoyed with the entire situation.

This fourth I got more fireworks than I expected. I’m thankful for our firefighters. I’m thankful for all our public service people.

Have a safe holiday, everyone!

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