Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Mourning in Fairfax





I’m not sure this firefighter would call his self a hero but his attempt and that of the members of his crew were heroic… they responded to the call and gave it their all but were unable to save the woman who lived in this house… it has been 14 years since I shot this photo while working for our local paper and its image has never left my mind.



Every once in a while I pull it out and remember the choice I made that day… I was in route to an interview for a feature on a local antique shop when I decided to follow the fire trucks and see what was going on. Being a former volunteer firefighter I stayed out of the way but found myself stepping over hoses as I shot roll after roll of film, never really seeing what I was shooting, it was like I was on automatic. It was only after the fire was out that I discovered that the woman who lived there had not made it out and perished in the fire.


Although it was hard for me and I am sure her family, the paper ran this photo along with others on the front page that week; and while I have taken thousands of other photos, none has ever touched me the way this one did… every time I look at it I am drawn to the beams of light pouring through the burning building shining down on the firefighter or perhaps the victim or both.

10 comments:

Doreen said...

this is a great story, but sad. Firefighters are always heroes in my book. Mr. Linky is up now so go on over and post your link.

CollectIn Texas Gal said...

Striking photo of a tragic event. It is mystical how the light is shinning through the smoke to envelope the firefighter and the victim..as you described.

Thank you for posting this photo and your personal story. Firefighters are certainly heroes in every town in America.

Barry said...

An excellent photo and remarkable story. Firefighters are among my heroes as well.

Jama said...

In my book the firefighters will always be a hero!

Ann said...

You were there at the right place and right time. Sorry the occupants got burnt. Firefighters risk their lives. They are indeed real heros.

Pauline said...

You are so right! Firefighters, the world over, are definitely heroes. I love your story and the mystical photo.

NanU said...

A very touching story. Firefighters are indeed heroes. When my own house burned down they were on the scene within 5 minutes, but there wasn't much they could do. Thankfully, we all got out (except for the cat who was so frightened by the crowd that he ran back in).

Cheryl said...

Thank you for posting something so personal and life-altering. This really touched my heart.

Rebecca said...

Every firefighter should consider him/herself a hero! Brave folks are heroes in my book.

GingerV said...

very good Clare. one photo worth a 1000 words.