Taking A Break - Going Out For A Quick Smoke
By lunch time I was fairly burned-out (pardon the pun in advance) on the task and I turned on the television while I stuffed a sandwich down my throat, just a little diversion while I should be dining rather than eating for survival. Anyway, it was a Clint Eastwood movie and, as in most Clint Eastwood movies, sirens were plentiful. I didn't think anything of it, really, when I noticed that the sirens continued throughout most of the commercial break until... wait a minute... those sirens sound much too real and... it really smells like something's burning. Just as I was thinking about the power of suggestion and the efficacy of special effects, I realized that I was watching the Geico gekko, not Clint.
This is when I realized that something was really burning! My first reaction was to go to the door and feel it with my hand, to see if it's hot. When I realized it wasn't hot, I opened it and looked around in the hall. No problem here but I still smelled smoke. Going back inside I ran to the window, then I ran to get a camera. I immediately started shooting out my window, then decided I'd be better positioned on the roof of the building so I grabbed my camera bag and headed upstairs. Shot a bit from the roof, then went downstairs and across the street to the side of the burning building where the fire did the most damage. This was a genuine five alarm blaze. In addition to Maplewood's, four other departments responded: South Orange, Irvington, Millburn and Livingston. One hundred forty one (141) images later..... there's really nothing like a little spot-news coverage, about four hours worth, to break-up a marathon scanning session. Hello? Newark Star-Ledger?