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Some bonus coverage from last night's fire story.

According to KCAL news (home of the Dodgers!), last night a large building at 2028 14th St. (between Olympic and Pico) in Santa Monica went up in flames. Apparently the company makes CDs which smell really really horrible when they burn. At one point the 2nd floor of the building collapsed and the firefighters were evacuated; one firefighter is reported to be injured (get well soon!).

Around 7:20ish I was running on 14th street when all of the sudden, red flames popped up from a building. Black billowy smoke everywhere. People were crowding in the street yelling "what's going on?" I waivered between answering "it's a fire, dumbass" and "the terrorists are here!!" but instead I just said "I don't know." Only had my camera phone on me at the time, so this is as good as it got to start.

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But, because Malingering strives to bring the news to the people, (and because I have a "thing" for firefighters) I went home and got the camera. Here you go.

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Hey, firemen go at it from every direction.

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I think every firefighter in Los Angeles showed up to catch a glimpse. Most of them never left their trucks or engines, and some had cameras and were just hanging out. LAFD has a Flickr pool for photo documentation of all events and a blog for other stuff. Don't know about Santa Monica FD, who was on the scene first... Maybe they're banned from Flickr, like Germany.

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Are couplings supposed to spurt like that? Just asking.

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We kept getting shoved around by Santa Monica PD with flashlights, herded onto various corners while they put up "police line" tape to barricade people further and further from the fire, which was getting smaller and smaller. One officer said it was because they were trying to protect people from breathing the fumes. Uh, okay. I guess they don't learn about things like "air" and "gases" and "convection currents" in the police academy? Or maybe this guy just didn't do so well. He probably also used to sit in the booth next to the smoking section in the restaurant and felt like he wasn't inhaling secondhand smoke. Ignorance is bliss.

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Fire really does bring people together. Sometimes I wish there would be some sort of pseudo-disaster at least once a week for bonding purposes. Everyone in the neighborhood came out to watch. Even the goths.

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The real question is, how does one get a press pass for these things?

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Photos by Malingering