The end of an era. A four-alarm fire, over 200 fire fighters, over 50 pieces of equipment. At one point, more than 20,000 gallons of water a minute were being thrown at the blaze, which hardly seemed to notice. We watched for a couple of hours, endless roiling clouds of angry black smoke and leaping flames.
A neighborhood institution, gone. Just gone. All of it. They plan to rebuild, but it just won't be the same.
The aftermath ...
The next morning, firefighters are still pumping water in. There is a halo of broken glass all around the buildings where the window exploded out. The trees are surprisingly green, but they were well watered as the flames blazed out the windows and through the roof. I think the basements all must be completely filled with water.
The plants in the open garden section looked fine, but they were also well watered last night.
Nancy Freeman is a native of California who lives now in Washington, DC. A lifelong artist, she paints portraits and other commissions for a living, which keeps her traditional skills tuned and supports her decades-old obsession with computer art, and pastel painting.
She is currently using her 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th computers, but remembers when Dick Tracy had to make do with a two-way wrist radio.