Saturday, February 04, 2006

FLASH!! Fire in the Southeast Heights...ONE DEAD!

ZUNI & WYOMING SE--10:00 AM. Passed by a rescue unit and a fire truck, we looked to the right and saw SMOKE billowing close-by. These are the first (and perhaps only) pictures of the scene.

The unit on fire in this neighborhood was a small house on Bell SE. It looked like it was behind another house. Everything is pretty packed together out here, with a lot of chain-link fences separating the yards. Dogs chained outside the house on fire were going crazy. All the neighbors came out. Most were on cell phones.

One has to be careful taking pictures in this neighborhood. Everyone was looking nervous as more and more emergency vehicles rolled up to the scene.

One of the trucks hooked a hydrant on the way up the alley and the fireman, J. Trujillo, connected the hose and awaited instructions. Finally someone by the house waved his arm in a circle over his head and the Trujillo got ready to charge the line.

First he opened up the nozzle he had already attached directly to the hydrant. He only ran it a couple of seconds...just enough to flush any rocks or debris that might be in the water line. Then he used his hydrant wrench to turn the big five-sided nut at the top. The charged line ballooned to life.

The fire was mostly out by this time. They had plenty of equipment and personnel to take care of whatever they were going to find.

The large column of gray smoke that drew us down here seemed to me to indicate that this fire may have smoldered for quite a while before it finally got some air. If that is the case, sleeping victims are a possibility.

Update!! I regret to say the it turned out that there was a person inside the house who died as a result of the fire.

There also seems to be a controversy between a neighbor and the fire department over rescue efforts and on the one hand, and interference on the other. While my picture do not show any of that, they may help establish a time and order of events, if needed, through the time stamp in my camera.

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