Sunday, October 12, 2008

Backdraft Chicago

I came back to my friends' condo after the MU loss last night to hear a ton of sirens heading toward me from all different directions. All I had to do was step out on the balcony to see billowing smoke about 3 blocks from me. Threw the shoes back on and went to check it out... never imagined that it'd be a huge gathering of emergency services! Here are some iPhone pictures and my micro-blog of the event via Twitter (follow me).
  • watching and listening CFD go to town on a burning building. Chicago & Wolcott.
  • lots of glass being smashed. 2 ladder trucks. Another line into bldg.
  • ferverishly pulling more line into building. Looky-loos building. Can hear firemen giving updates over radio.
  • Lots of updates about location in bldg over 2 way. More firemen going in.
  • 4 story bldg. H&R block at ground.
  • Lots of shit being thrown out of bldg. Heard over 2 way, "no fire here. Further investigate."
  • Lots more window smashing. CFD don't play. Pumper trucks still pumping.
  • Fire coming up from first to second floor (overheard)
  • Longest non-truck ladder ever raised from ground to third floor now.
  • More sirens approaching. Hmmmm. Gurney waiting at entrance of bldg.
  • 8 trucks that I can see. 3 ambulances. Countless support vehicles.
  • More first floor glass pummeled. More sirens approaching
  • Female EMS-PIC Murphy using hose leak to wet towels.
  • (radio) we're gonna bring her out the front door
  • Big time smoke from first floor adjacent bldg. More sirens approaching.
  • Another gurney. And the sound of power tools.
  • Smoke turning from white to black. Glass getting smashed over and over.
  • Master use of pole axe only before seen in Diablo video game.
  • Firefighters yelling, "anyone live in this bldg?" girl next to me says YA
  • Hugging and crying happening behind me. "I was dead asleep in there and barely got down stairs"
  • Overheard: "I'm glad your alive"/ "thank you!"
  • Overheard: I was a little bit awake and burned incense earlier and I looked out my window to see flames (cough) and holy fuck!
  • Another line going in. 2 fighters coming out with oxygen tanks ringing. Expired.
  • Real American heroes walking out of bldg and declining wet towels.
  • Real American heroes getting new oxygen tanks and going back in.
  • Guy on phone behind me: my car is parked right in the middle of the action.
  • Holy crap. Just looked around. At least 30 vehicles here now.
  • Overheard smoke so thick nine blocks away (bar: happy village?) that they closed.
  • Overheard: they brought a girl out. No idea on status.
  • Last microblog. When these guys come out someone else pours them some Gatorade. Props to the CFD.


miss z said...

heh - i was one of the girls you quote. i used to live up there - moved out not long ago.
you missed the kitty rescue that happened later - some friends were out of town but their cats weren't. they're both fine and purring at my feet now... yay cfd!!

Robert Zamees said...

Glad that you (and the cats and the friends) are all ok!

Tess said...

What a crazy night.
I hope whoever they took out of the building was okay.

Robert Zamees said...

I saw a news clip on Sunday night where they interviewed her. She was 3rd floor and couldn't go down the smokey stairs, so she opened the window and started yelling for help. They CDF got her out alright.

Anonymous said...

Glad that everyone is OK. This is crazy - I live across the street on Chicago Ave. (literally above where you took the pictures from) My fiancee and I slept through all of this. The trucks were still out there at 8:00 AM the next morning.

Last night - there was another fire behind Cleos. Another 15-20 response vehicles. Something weird is going on in the neighborhood.