I had never reported “fire” before

This blog was published on gazette.com June 11, 2014.

It was like staring up a Salvador Dalí painting.

The fire that shut down Martin Drake Power Plant—a four-alarm fire with more than 100 firefighter responders on May 5—was hot. Really hot. So hot the a steel ladder above the operating floor that I stared up on a media tour Tuesday afternoon was warped into a cartoonish wave.

The fire was so hot it made this previously straight ladder look like a cartoon.

A post shared by Emily Donovan (@emdonskc) on

 

That’s hot.

Until my first week at The Gazette, I had never written the word “fire” in an article before.

The closest I had come was dust. Once at my campus newspaper, we heard there was a fire truck and an ambulance at the engineering building. We called a breaking news reporter during class for nothing. Dust had caused a false alarm.

False alarms were all I had until coming to the high fire risk of Colorado Springs.

“Fire” wasn’t a problem word growing up in a Kansas suburb. “Fire” meant camping, marshmallows, and a chimney dysfunctional since before I can remember.

Here, “fire” means trouble.

“Fire” means wildfire. It means neighbors crying and hugging. Family heirlooms burned, lives lost, and property damaged. Prevention and mitigation. Danger, heat, smoke, resources, and politics.

Here, “fire” means news.

Emily Donovan is an undergraduate student at the University of Kansas from Kansas City, Kan. Follow her on Twitter @emdons.

Advertisements

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s