Jen Rinaldi Photography

Capturing Life's Fleeting Moments…

Hot Topic March 10, 2009

Last night I posted two article links  HERE regarding the fire I witnessed on Saturday afternoon on Sixth and Market Street in Wilmington, North Carolina.  It’s not often that I  have the opportunity to capture something of a photojournalistic nature such as this.  Tonight I’m posting my own experience of this event though my photos.

I’m very saddened for the family that had to go through this.  I can’t imagine something like this happening to me or my loved ones.  This house was under renovation which is so sad that so much time and energy went up in flames like this.  Wilmington is such a beautiful historic district… I hope that this house can be repaired.

To view the entire gallery of 157 photos click HERE.

It all started when I was taking a photo of a church…

I didn’t get past this first photo that you see above because in the next instant fire trucks were entering the 4 lane divided road facing the opposite of traffic.  I was slightly shocked and couldn’t understand why they were driving into on-coming traffic when the other 2 lanes on the other side of the median were open.  Seconds later I knew why as I looked over and saw the smoke coming from 3 or 4 houses to the right of where I was standing…


The Wilmington Fire department was immediately on the scene and “in action.”  All I can say is that it was so impressive watching these guys work!  I know I couldn’t run into a burning building/home for a living yet they do it without fear.   I give them a lot of respect for what they do!

Below are a selection that I chose to highlight the scene…more can be found in the gallery on my website by clicking HERE.

Paramedics were on the scene immediately as well…

Another photographer appeared on the scene…(and a fellow Nikon shooter!)

They tried to extinguish the flames inside the home but the tongue & groove ceilings in this old house made it very hard to get to.  They were unable to stop the fire that way so they used the tower unit to extinguish the fire from the outside.

It was quite an experience to watch the scene unfold.  This is something I’ve only scene on the news and not up close and personal like this.  I’m impressed with how the Wilmington Fire Department, Police Dept & EMS handled the scene. From what I witnessed they worked hard and should be commended for putting this fire out and protecting the house next to it.

To view the entire gallery of 157 photos click HERE.


11 Responses to “Hot Topic”

  1. Anna McClary Says:

    What a freaky experience! I definitely feel for the family, I can’t even imagine. Great shots though, my favorite is the reflection one on the back of the firetruck.

  2. Wild photographs Jen! You should submit them to the station…knowing several firefighters, they’d surely appreciate seeing these. I love the reflection one with the paramedics. Nice job covering the scene…so sad for the house dwellers.


  3. George Says:

    Jen – what a great set of images – right place – right time, those guys certainly earn their money. With wooden buildings like that they are lucky the street didn’t go up

  4. I truly love the photojournalistic style of all these photos. You captured the intensity of the moment. I agree with Heather, I would definetly see if the station would want these photographs. I hope the house isn’t a total loss.

  5. suehenryphotography Says:

    These images need to be given to the Wilmington Fire Department. They would most certainly help them tell their story — a story of danger, bravery, professionalism.

    I WILL view the full gallery.

  6. Great shots of a very tough situation. I say offer them to the firefighters too!

  7. Julie McLeod Says:

    Jen, is there a type of photography that you CAN’T do well????? This is an incredible story telling sequence and you did so well in capturing the drama. Bravo!

  8. N. Says:

    This is my boyfriend and his fathers house. Although I still have my own apartment I pretty much lived there too. I left the scene of the fire with him because he couldn’t bear to watch the house that he loves and worked so hard on go up in flames. He was doing all of the restoration work himself and he just finished the roof a couple of weeks ago. Your pictures give me mixed feelings, but I am glad you focused on the fire fighters, they did a great job and I am so happy none of them were hurt trying to save the house. We are trying to raise money for them as the insurance company will not provide a place to stay until the house is habitable. if anyone would like to donate please go to on the corner of 17th Street and Market and speak to anyone there, they are collecting donations. Any little bit would help. Thanks.

  9. suehenryphotography Says:

    “N.” needs to take her boyfriend to the American Red Cross. They can provide for their immediate emergency needs of food, clothing, and shelter; help that provides a bridge while they rebuild following the devastation of loss. The Red Cross will additionally provide the family referrals to other agencies that can provide additional assistance.

    As a former executive director of a local chapter, I know that the Red Cross provides assistance to over 70,000 fire victims a year. Help is there.

  10. colblue Says:

    These are wonderful journalistic shots of this!! The angles and processing really make the difference to normal reporting shot. Great work Jersey!! 🙂

  11. What a cool set you captured, i love your work.

    B Dad

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