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10 Comments | Vintage
Firefigthers are the soliders that never kill anyone!
What a contrast between the ice and smoke! Super neat.
Old Montreal? Maybe de la Commune near the water? Lots of these style of buildings are still around.
Way cool. Looks like Frozone tried to help out!
Ladders were wood back then. Seems counterintuitive but they actually hold up better to heat than aluminum. Of course eventually they’ll burn but by then your metal ladder is fucked as well
It looks like part of the building was occupied by the Shell and co. I can imagine the oil inside the building made the blaze even more intense. Nice picture!
This is like that photo of a house in fire during a flood, a prove that things can always get worse somehow, and that reality unlike fiction doesn’t have to make sense
This photo is a good reminder of how fire isn’t the most damaging thing to the structure a lot of the time, it’s water damage from all the water getting pumped in to fight the fire. Sure maybe only the top floor is on fire, but as you can see here every floor will be impacted by water damage.
During the night of 22 January 1888, a terrible fire destroyed an imposing stone building on Little St. James Street, east of Place d’Armes in Montréal. The five-storey building with a façade of 165 feet was home to different companies, including several American business firms. The New York Times hastened to report the event, characterising the drama as “one of the worst fires that had visited Montréal for many years.”
According to the article, the fire began shortly after midnight on the second floor of the building; an extremely cold night and westerly winds soon caused the water hoses to freeze, while the “firemen were quickly transformed into walking blocks of ice.” Despite the efforts of the fire brigade, the flames spread rapidly through the stairwells and explosions were heard repeatedly. The equipment inadequate, the cold intense, ”the men and horses exhausted,” the only solution was to let the fire to die out of its own accord. In the early hours of the morning, it was reported “the block is to-day covered by a solid sheet of ice.”
The photograph by Notman & Son was no doubt taken during the morning of 22 January 1888. The photographer unites the key elements of the event and succeeds, through a discerning choice of perspective, light and framing, in capturing the drama and conveying the spectacular effect and striking transformation of the building encased in ice.
Is that a structure fire in a completely frozen building?