Chasing Firetrucks

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This is an offbeat post here on my wedding blog.

Yesterday was odd for numerous reasons – a full moon maybe?  A few odd things here and there, but after a full day at “work” from a wedding, I was driving home on Northbound I-15 and was approaching Mira Mesa Blvd exit.  It was 12:45am.  I saw a faint plume of faint smoke (or what could have been steam from a building, etc.) up on the left (West) side of the freeway. It was just about unremarkable, but as I approached the exit, my periphial vision caught what I could have sworn were pretty big flames.   I knew then it was a decent sized fire.

I used to chase firetrucks around the neighborhoods on my bike as a kid.  I quickly turned kid again.

It was late, I was in no rush to get home, I usually spend 30-45min unwinding anyway.  Mira Mesa Blvd was void of it’s usual gridlock traffic.

I’m going to go find this sucker and chase a fire truck”.

Mira Mesa College Shed Fire Image (1)

Soon after the first firetruck arrived.

I drove back Southbound on Black Mtn Road, and got my way behind Mira Mesa College.  Had I not had my GPS, this would not have been possible since I had no idea where I was heading.  I only had a sense of where the fire was.  About 6-7min later, I ended up in some back roads and driveways of what must have been Mira Mesa College and got to the dead end of a driveway.  I then saw the flames.  They were busting out from behind a few small buildings and a work-week cafe.  It wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t your everyday college bonfire either.  It appeared to be a small building or large shed.

Wait . . . Where are the firetrucks?

It had been at least 8-10min since I saw the flames on the freeway.  Surely there would have been officials en’route.  Without assuming, I called 911.  I told them I’m at the scene of a fire. Asking a few general questions as to where I was, they said they had “already dispatched to the Southbound side of 15 at Mira Mesa”  I then heard the faint sound firetrucks in the background – they indeed had been dispatched.  Wait!  I told the dispatcher that the fire was not on the 15.  It was in the backside of Mira Mesa College.  I rattled off the street names from my GPS and some other details. She took my notes and let me go.

Mira Mesa College Shed Fire Image (7)

White smoke = steam from water.

A few minutes later, a cop showed up and I directed him to behind the building where the fire was.  Within 4-5min a boatload of firetrucks showed.  And then a few more cops, and then a few more firetrucks.  There must have been 2 dozen firefighters, 4 or 5 cops.  Within 8-10 min, they had 2 or 3 main lines charged up and dowsing the flames. It was out in less than 2 minutes.

I just sat quietly off to the side. I felt odd. Some civilian dude, in a shirt & tie, obviously after a long night, or day at work, hanging out on the side of a scene of a fire at 1:00am, in some remote, weird location behind some college buildings, snapping a few pics. One of the firemen, a female actually, approached and asked me how I was there.  I just told her the quick version of above.  She thanked me, I thanked her.  It was a cool way to end a long, and at times, Odd day.

I forgot to mention that I was simply trying to chase a few firetrucks.

Miramar College Shed Fire Pictures

Having my camera on hand from the wedding, I had to snap a few pics.  Here is a Google Map of the exact location: http://goo.gl/maps/EhVrR

Mira Mesa College Shed Fire Image (1)

Soon after the first firetruck arrived.

Mira Mesa College Shed Fire Image (2)

Approaching the fire.

Mira Mesa College Shed Fire Image (3)

Pulling their lines.

Mira Mesa College Shed Fire Image (4)

Pulling their lines.

Mira Mesa College Shed Fire Image (5)

More crews on the scene.

Mira Mesa College Shed Fire Image (6)

Getting ready to kill that sucker.

Mira Mesa College Shed Fire Image (7)

White smoke = steam from water.

Mira Mesa College Shed Fire Image (8)

There’s always something cool about firetrucks at night.

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