Friday, March 23, 2012

Death of a Barn, Part 2

OK, this is the exciting second and final installment. The fireworks, if you will. The second day was the controlled-burn of the barn, quite a group of volunteer firefighters in attendance. All pretty exciting. Without the intervention of the Klan or a lightning-strike most people never get to see a barn burning.

They had a big ladder extension with a water-sheet making sure the fire didn’t hit any power wires, and hoses on stand-by from several sides on the ground.

Some of you will know that I still have a little dose of PTSD from a house-fire in Nashville years back. Makes me kinda like a squirrel when I hear sounds that remind me of my fuse-box exploding, gas igniting, that kind of thing. My fire wasn’t anything like what this turned into. The old barnwood was tinder-dry and ready to go. After burning for a few hours rather calmly on the street side, the backside—which had the most wood and also some old hay storage—started to go up.

Man, is fire a scary thing up close, when it really starts to rage. There had been a big storm sneaking up most of the afternoon, and just as the fire was reaching its peak and the building collapsed, the storm came on hard. Rain, wind, hail. I had my bike on the car and camera gear so I bolted. The end was all a blur. There was a lot of primal excitement when the old barn finally seriously flamed up and pretty quickly collapsed. I was amazed that I had the presence of mind to shoot a little collapse sequence.

My most vivid memory was that even without much structure, the roof alone held in this enormous blaze and before the end it looked literally like a house built of fire. Stunning.

What an afternoon.

Juan and his crew are back in town this weekend heading toward the actual installing part of the installation. Interested to see what evolves.