Fire!

February 10, 2008  •  Leave a Comment

I was involved in a fiery incident last night! I was working on the PC around 11pm with the office window open, when I heard a crackling sound that quickly grew louder coming from outside. My first thought was that someone was setting off fireworks, but when I turned round and looked out of the window I saw the trees in my back garden were ablaze! And I'm talking about 12ft+ pine trees completely engulfed in flames.

These trees are only a couple of metres from my house and right next to the neighbour's coal shed. I immediately called the fire brigade and then grabbed a powerful 3 million lux torch to investigate whilst alerting my neighbour. I also grabbed an emergency torch from the car with flashing red and amber lights, and left it on top of my bin on the pavement, as a beacon for the fire service so they would know where to gain access to the back gardens. A few neighbours had gathered by now but it was obvious that the job was too powerful for a garden hose.

For perspective, that's a metal rubbish bin in the foreground and the bush on the left is taller than me, about 6ft high.

It was at this point that I realised I wasn't taking any photographs! I went indoors but had forgotten that I had been experimenting with tethered shooting earlier and I had left my D300 with the 50mm 1.8 on and without a battery - aargh! When I was finally ready I managed to take about seven shots but they were poor as it was pitch black outside except for the blaze. When the fire service arrived I assisted a little by providing some spot lighting for a while. When the fire was out, there was puzzlement as to how the fire had started. The immediate suspect was children up to no good but I had not heard a sound before the fire through my open window. Another neighbour suggested that sparks or embers from the neighbour's coal fire chimney had ignited dry undergrowth and this seems to be the most logical explanation.

After a quick drink of whisky with my neighbour, I went back to work. A couple of these shots through the trees remind me of sci-fi films like ET.


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