Monthly Archives: December 2009

En Fuego

As far as spot news goes, fires are usually money for decent images. Heard a call on the scanner yesterday while working for the Herald that ended with “All units please respond,” and I bolted out the door. Got to the smoldering warehouse in Southie around the same time as the first fire truck.

Here’s an accidental photo that I really liked. Not really a news photo, but I dig it.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — A firefighter exits the smoldering warehouse at 1st and B Streets in South Boston, where firefighters responded to reports of smoke outside the building. Fire inspectors believe the smoke originated from a pile of smoldering garbage being used for warmth by homeless people inside.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — A firefighter exits the smoldering warehouse at 1st and B Streets in South Boston, where firefighters responded to reports of smoke outside the building. Fire inspectors believe the smoke originated from a pile of smoldering garbage being used for warmth by homeless people inside.

And, of course, a few photos from the initial scene:

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — Boston firefighters prepare to enter a smoke-filled warehouse in South Boston at 1st and C Streets on Dec. 13, 2009. Firefighters responded to reports of smoke, which came from a smoldering pile of paper and garbage on the first floor that fire inspectors believe was being used by homeless squatters to stay warm. One person was treated for smoke inhalation.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — Boston firefighters prepare to enter a smoke-filled warehouse in South Boston at 1st and C Streets on Dec. 13, 2009. Firefighters responded to reports of smoke, which came from a smoldering pile of paper and garbage on the first floor that fire inspectors believe was being used by homeless squatters to stay warm. One person was treated for smoke inhalation.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — Boston firefighters open ventilation  in the wall of a smoke-filled warehouse in South Boston at 1st and C Streets on Dec. 13, 2009. Firefighters responded to reports of smoke, which came from a smoldering pile of paper and garbage on the first floor that fire inspectors believe was being used by homeless squatters to stay warm. One person was treated for smoke inhalation.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — Boston firefighters open ventilation in the wall of a smoke-filled warehouse in South Boston at 1st and C Streets on Dec. 13, 2009. Firefighters responded to reports of smoke, which came from a smoldering pile of paper and garbage on the first floor that fire inspectors believe was being used by homeless squatters to stay warm. One person was treated for smoke inhalation.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — oston firefighters sift through the debris from a smoldering pile of paper and garbage on the first floor of the NEFCO warehouse in South Boston at 1st and C Streets on Dec. 13, 2009. Firefighters responded to reports of smoke, which came from the smoldering that fire inspectors believe was being used by homeless squatters to stay warm.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — oston firefighters sift through the debris from a smoldering pile of paper and garbage on the first floor of the NEFCO warehouse in South Boston at 1st and C Streets on Dec. 13, 2009. Firefighters responded to reports of smoke, which came from the smoldering that fire inspectors believe was being used by homeless squatters to stay warm.

Pretty boring stuff by fire photo standards, with no actual flames on the scene. But reporter Laurel Sweet, who wrote the story, and I were treated to a tour of the interior by the fire inspectors. Inside was a veritable homeless condominium, with makeshift apartments fashioned out of the offices inside.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — Homeless squatters left bottles of a mystery liquid that fire inspectors believe to be either moonshine or urine strewn throughout the second floor of the NEFCO warehouse in South Boston at 1st and C Streets on Dec. 13, 2009. Firefighters responded to reports of smoke, which came from a smoldering pile of paper and garbage on the first floor that fire inspectors believe was being used by homeless squatters to stay warm.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — Homeless squatters left bottles of a mystery liquid that fire inspectors believe to be either moonshine or urine strewn throughout the second floor of the NEFCO warehouse in South Boston at 1st and C Streets on Dec. 13, 2009. Firefighters responded to reports of smoke, which came from a smoldering pile of paper and garbage on the first floor that fire inspectors believe was being used by homeless squatters to stay warm.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — Homeless squatters had set up a long-term presence in second floor of the NEFCO warehouse in South Boston at 1st and C Streets on Dec. 13, 2009.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — Homeless squatters had set up a long-term presence in second floor of the NEFCO warehouse in South Boston at 1st and C Streets on Dec. 13, 2009.

With such an entrenched human presence inside the warehouse, it could have been much worse, with the inspectors estimating that about 15 people lived in this place. With that mystery liquid, which could have been anything from kerosene, to moonshine, but most likely urine, it could have been a disaster. Luckily, it wasn’t, and safe enough for the Boston Fire Department to give us an awesome behind-the-scenes look at what they have to potentially deal with in these situations.

Much thanks to the Boston Fire Department!

And finally, I leave you with an outtake of the last known resident of this homeless hacienda:

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — Spongebob Squarepants hangs on the door of one of the offices being used as a bedroom by homeless squatters in a South Boston warehouse on Dec. 13, 2009.

12.13.2009 — BOSTON — Spongebob Squarepants hangs on the door of one of the offices being used as a bedroom by homeless squatters in a South Boston warehouse on Dec. 13, 2009.

The Candidate

Here’s a few photos from a campaign event I covered last week for a new client, the MetroWest Daily News.

U.S. Senate candidate Martha Coakley was making a stop in Marlborough to accept the endorsement of mayor Nancy Stevens. It was a relatively generic campaign event, which is generally how these things go, but Coakley was personable and in full campaign mode — she shook my hand and introduced herself twice while making her round, not realizing she had already done it once. It’s always nice to see candidates interacting with people, and this one was no different, if not very familiar. I did manage to get there early enough to meet some of her family.

Here we go:

12.6.2009 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — From left, Scott and daughters Ellie, 3, Audrey, 4, and Grace 6, with their mother, Liz of Franklin, and Maria, 9, her dad Joe and Megan Gentile, 7, campaign for U.S. Senatorial candidate Martha Coakley before she accepted the endorsement from Marlboro mayor Nancy Stevens at the Coral Restaurant in Marlboro on Dec. 6, 2009. Liz Bonacci and her brother Joe Gentile are the niece and nephew of Coakley.

12.6.2009 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — From left, Scott and daughters Ellie, 3, Audrey, 4, and Grace 6, with their mother, Liz of Franklin, and Maria, 9, her dad Joe and Megan Gentile, 7, campaign for U.S. Senatorial candidate Martha Coakley before she accepted the endorsement from Marlboro mayor Nancy Stevens at the Coral Restaurant in Marlboro on Dec. 6, 2009. Liz Bonacci and her brother Joe Gentile are the niece and nephew of Coakley.

12.6.2009 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — U.S. Senatorial candidate Martha Coakley delivers some remarks after accepting the endorsement from Marlboro mayor Nancy Stevens, in background, at the Coral Restaurant in Marlboro on Dec. 6, 2009.

12.6.2009 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — U.S. Senatorial candidate Martha Coakley delivers some remarks after accepting the endorsement from Marlboro mayor Nancy Stevens, in background, at the Coral Restaurant in Marlboro on Dec. 6, 2009.

12.6.2009 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — U.S. Senatorial candidate Martha Coakley fields questions from the audience after accepting the endorsement from Marlboro mayor Nancy Stevens at the Coral Restaurant in Marlboro on Dec. 6, 2009.

12.6.2009 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — U.S. Senatorial candidate Martha Coakley fields questions from the audience after accepting the endorsement from Marlboro mayor Nancy Stevens at the Coral Restaurant in Marlboro on Dec. 6, 2009.

Work. Progress.

Here’s a quick portrait from a Boston Herald assignment yesterday. I was sent to Dorchester to get a photo of Lewis Finfer, whose father helped build a wall down by the Neponset River near the Milton-Dorchester border as part of the Works Progress Administration of the Great Depression.

Well, with this recession and job loss continuing, you get the idea… Lew is headed to Washington next week to talk jobs with President Obama.

12.12.2009 — BOSTON — Massachusetts Communities Action Network director Lew Finfer's father worked on the wall along Medway and Ventura Streets in Dorchester as part of a Work Progress Administration project from 1939 to 1940. Finfer will be meeting with President Barack Obama next week to discuss the potential for another WPA-like program, among other solutions, to spur job creation.

12.12.2009 — BOSTON — Massachusetts Communities Action Network director Lew Finfer's father worked on the wall along Medway and Ventura Streets in Dorchester as part of a Work Progress Administration project from 1939 to 1940. Finfer will be meeting with President Barack Obama next week to discuss the potential for another WPA-like program, among other solutions, to spur job creation.

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