Yelling ‘fire!’ on a photo-happy Internet

Leland Street fire 2009

Leland Street fire 2009

I’ve been trying to make some sense out of five years of photo files — What to keep? What to save? — and I now have a folder on my desktop that just says “FIRE.” Yes, in  all caps.

So, funny story about my first photo credit in the Lowell Sun: earlier this summer, there was a late afternoon thunderstorm, marked by a giant BOOM that was immediately followed by the police scanners practically exploding with chatter about a lightning strike. Our police reporter, Robert Mills immediately jumped up and ran to see if there was a photographer available. He’s running around in his Rob breaking-news way, because it sounds like a bad fire and he doesn’t have an available photographer and…

… I look at my purse, which is actually a large purple camera bag that just looks like a purse, and yell “I’m a photographer!”

It is pouring outside. I’m wearing a dress and my brand new sparkly slide-in heeled sandals. And off we run out, with Rob promising me he has a hoodie in his backseat that I can borrow, because I still have four hours on my shift that I’d prefer not be done soaking wet.

We get to the fire and Rob knows all the Lowell cops, so we’re waved right past the road blocks to the scene. And there’s not a whole lot of fire happening, but the neighbors are all out and the ladders are extended and there are chainsaws going so the firefighters can vent the roof and we both start running.

I do not recommend running in brand new sparkly slide-in heeled sandals. I also do not recommend getting all mincing and girly at a fire scene, because tottering in on those heels, all “hee-hee-hee, my shoes” was NOT going to get me pictures. So I kicked off the shoes and went running around on the street barefoot. What’s more important, photos or my feet? Photos.

So last week, when I tried to get my Twitter following up over 200, Rob Tweets out the following to his 4,000+ followers:

In summary, apparently I’m making an impression at my new job (and it continues to be “Suburban Pratfall Barbie“)  and there are now a spare pair of sneakers in the bottom drawer of my desk at work. Here are some of my fire folder contents.


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