If you have a Flickr account, click on any photo to see it larger. They are MUCH more dramatic that way.
The fire siren went off about 7:30am this morning. It woke me up but I didn't think too much about it. Then J came into my room about 7:45am and said there was a fire behind the grocery store. I thought it was probably a dumpster fire and there would be a thin trickle of smoke but I looked out the window anyway. I think the first words out of my mouth were "holy shit".
L heard us talking and she got up and looked out her window. I think those were the first words out of her mouth too.
After J left for school (K had gone before any of this started), L and I stood outside for a bit and took some pictures and video. And then we went upstairs, where we had a better view.
They called in two other fire departments to help. When the ladder truck showed up, I told L that if she was going to have a shower, she'd better do it soon because I thought the water pressure was going to drop dramatically. It never did though.
The fire appeared to be under control by about 10am, although there was still a significant amount of smoke by mid-afternoon. The Salvation Army thrift store was destroyed and there was significant smoke and water damage to other businesses. I've heard that there was some fire damage to the back corner of the grocery store, too.
But I don't know for sure. Thanks to a screwup by either my cable company or the local(ish) TV station (each is blaming the other), the 6pm AND 11pm news broadcasts were not shown here or in surrounding communities.
More photos. And L posted a video on Facebook for those who have access. You can actually hear the building collapse.