Trying to Catch Up

This week has been insane. The Nine injured in morning blaze  story really has thrown me for a loop.

I’ll start from the beginning.

Tuesday morning, I check my e-mail to find a “Breaking News” message from my boss sent at 5:42 a.m., telling me there was a fire. Mike gave me the address, 62/64 South Street, and I was off to Willimantic.

I e-mailed Mike back right away and I was able to get to the scene by 6:30 a.m. My home in Vernon is about a half hour away from our office and the fire was farther than that. Mike called me on the way to the fire asking me if I had my camera, which I FORGOT. I cannot say here what I said after I got off the phone with Mike.

The fire, which started around 12:30 a.m., was already out by the time I arrived.

I could still smell the fire. All of the TV crews were already there. I expected them to be there, with the nine reported injuries. They didn’t stay long, though. They had already been at the scene for a long time. I think most of them had “features” on the morning news slots.

Everything was still wet. The three-story house looked awful, except for the barely damaged first floor. I was really taken back by how bad the home was burned. Being my first “real” fire, it was quite shocking. I really can’t imagine how bad the flames were (the flames actually got so big, they damaged the power-lines in front of it). You always see and hear about fires each day on the news, but once you see it in person it’s a whole different thing.

No firefighters were still on the scene. The home was taped off and the investigation was beginning.

I waited for Roxanne, our photographer, and took notes while I waited. She got to the scene about five minutes after me. We were on the scene for about an hour.

I was able to talk to the fire chief and a witness to the fire. It turned out to be a really detailed story.

Wednesday proved the same with this: South Street house fire subject of arson probe. It is still under investigation, as of this morning.

Wednesday morning was a bit stressful, with both trying to beat the other papers/news outlets and making sure we had all the information. We held the paper for a bit, but I really think it was worth it.

Having to cover the fire, a lot of my towns’ stories were thrown off track. I had to regroup and figure out what I should write first. Now, I have too much to write and not enough time. By that, I mean I can only pitch two stories a day, Mike doesn’t like to take more than two from each reporter. So I can write all of them, but time is an issue, as some of them probably won’t run until early next week.

It’s not the end of the world, but it makes me rearrange some things and do some of the bigger stories a bit later than I would normally like to.

It’s all part of the job.

Jonathan

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5 Responses to Trying to Catch Up

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