Tag Archives: Spot News

8 Alarms

A little after noon Saturday, I got a call from the Herald to check out what was, at the time, a four-alarm fire in downtown Marlboro. Within a few minutes, the fire got much worse, hitting six alarms by the time I got there. Sure enough, I could see smoke billowing across the entire downtown area, coming from an apartment building with a diner and hair salon on the first floor.

I’ve never photographed anything higher than five alarms, and that includes some pretty serious fires back in Tampa. I was pretty surprised when it hit eight alarms by the time I made my first frame on the scene. It didn’t look a whole lot worse than anything else I’d ever seen, but my guess it was due to the density of the buildings in the downtown area.

According to Marlboro Fire Chief Rick Plummer, the fire started on the second floor of this old, wood-framed building and spread very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that this thing ended up imploding about an hour after I arrived. Here’s a sequence of photos of that, as well as some shots of the firefighters from multiple towns working the scene.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Firefighters from multiple agencies, including Northborough, left, and Hudson, center, assist their Marlborough colleagues with an 8-alarm fire at 173 Main St. in Marlborough on June 26, 2010. The fire started from unknown causes on the second floor of the old, wood-framed building and spread quickly, Marlborough Fire Chief Rick Plummer said. The building experienced multiple collapses, beginning with the roof and eventually imploded, but no injuries were reported and all firefighters were accounted for, Plummer said.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Marlborough, Northborough and Hudson firefighters tend to the building at 173 Main St. in Marlborough as it implodes from damage due to an 8-alarm fire on June 26, 2010.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Marlborough firefighters tend to the building at 173 Main St. in Marlborough after it imploded from damage due to an 8-alarm fire on June 26, 2010.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Hudson firefighters assist their Marlborough colleagues with an 8-alarm fire at 173 Main St. in Marlborough on June 26, 2010.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Northborough firefighters, top, assist their Marlborough colleagues, below, with an 8-alarm fire at 173 Main St. in Marlborough on June 26, 2010.

6.26.2010 — MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Hudson firefighters assist their Marlborough colleagues with an 8-alarm fire at 173 Main St. in Marlborough on June 26, 2010.

Consequences

Some people make the argument that Memorial Day weekend marks the first days of summer. When it comes to news, the warm weather always brings with it the threat of violent crime outdoors. That about summed up my weekend, where I was sent to two homicide scenes around the city.

Sunday night, I was sent to check out a brazen murder around sunset in Dorchester. All we heard was that someone on a scooter had been shot in the upper body. Followups showed that 14-year-old Nicholas Fomby-Davis had been dragged off the scooter and executed by two gang members, according to a gang unit officer who witnessed the murder.

5.30.2010 — BOSTON — Boston Police examine the area around the scene of a homicide at Olney and Bowdoin Streets in Dorchester on May 30, 2010. According to police, the victim was riding the scooter.

It’s rare that I get to follow up on these spot news events, as night-day shift turnarounds are somewhat uncommon for me. This time was different, as I got to meet the Fomby-Davis family and help them paint a picture of their son, who by all stretches was a good kid to the people who knew him — accepted to an engineering high school in Hyde Park, volunteered to help out at school and even painted the front and back porch of his house before he left that night.

5.31.2010 — BOSTON — Nathaniel Davis mourns the loss of his son, 14-year-old Nicholas Fomby-Davis, who was shot and killed on Bowdoin Street, on May 31, 2010.

5.31.2010 — BOSTON — Jojo Bourciquot, 16, breaks down in tears before laying down a teddy bear in rememberance of her friend, Nicholas Fomby-Davis, who was shot and killed at this location at the intersection of Olney and Bowdoin Streets the night before on May 31, 2010.

5.31.2010 — BOSTON — Jojo Bourciquot, 16, is comforted by a friend after laying a teddy bear at the site where her friend, 14-year-old Nicholas Fomby-Davis, was shot and killed the night before at the intersection of Olney and Bowdoin Streets on May 31, 2010.

Mr. Davis called on the mayor and police to take swift action on the gang activity in his community, commenting that gangbangers should be treated like “the Taliban.” Understandable. The police did make a bit of a statement, converging on the intersection shortly thereafter for a roll call and making a display of force with the community that violent behavior will not be tolerate in the neighborhood.

5.31.2010 — BOSTON — Boston Police Superintendent in Chief Daniel Linskey organizes officers at a department roll call at the intersections of Bowdoin and Olney Streets on May 31, 2010. The police held their roll call to show their committment to stopping violent crime in the area and to show the violent criminal element that they are on notice, Linskey said.

Here’s the Herald’s take on the story, which I worked on with reporter Richard Weir.

6.1.2010 — Boston Herald Cover

The mayor said violence in the city is by no means “out of control,” but we’ll see how things shape up this summer.

Grease Balls of Fire

Heard a call on the scanner last night about a really smokey fire at a restaurant in Charlestown. It was a one-alarm fire when I took off, relatively minor, but the smoke was what made me get in the car. I was right about it being minor — it was pretty much out by the time I got there about 10-15 minutes after the call, though it had been upgraded to a two-alarm very briefly.

Turned out it was a really bad grease fire in one of the kitchen vents on the side of the building. Unfortunately for the restaurant, the process of putting out the fire in the vents resulted in the kitchen getting flooded out. A big mess for a really inconveniently located grease fire.

5.27.2010 — BOSTON — Firefighters hose down a kitchen vent that caught fire at Olives restaurant, 10 City Square in Charlestown, on May 27, 2010. The two-alarm fire caused heavy smoke and was likely caused by a grease backup in the air vent, Boston Fire spokesman Steve MacDonald said.

5.27.2010 — BOSTON — Firefighters on a neighboring balcony take a closer look at a kitchen vent that caught fire at Olives restaurant, 10 City Square in Charlestown, on May 27, 2010.

5.27.2010 — BOSTON — A firefighter enters Olives restaurant, 10 City Square in Charlestown, to check on the status of a fire on May 27, 2010.

5.27.2010 — BOSTON — Cooks from Olives restaurant, 10 City Square in Charlestown, wait outside after their restaurant was evacuated due to a fire on May 27, 2010.

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