Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I wish I'd had my camera

So I'm walking toward the bus stop in downtown Iowa City and, from a block away, I notice flames coming from the 2nd floor corner of the Old Capitol Mall. Is that what I think it is? That's fire! Why don't I see any fire trucks? Why don't I hear any sirens?

That corner of the mall is currently under construction, however, which lead to this dumb thought going through my head: Is that fire intentional? Maybe the contractors are trying to get rid of something.

What a moron. Flames were shooting out of a hole in the wall! Who sets a fire that is a few gusts of wind from blazing out of control intentionally? (Unless you're an arsonist.)

I must've approached the corner just as the fire started. At this point, there were barely any gawkers or bystanders gathering around. Finally, I heard sirens. And crowds began to gather at the corner of Clinton and Washington streets. I could see many of them thinking similar thoughts to mine as they approached; "Hey, is that a fire?"

It looked like firefighters doused the blaze and got it under control before it could spread to the rest of the mall and cause serious damage. Once the hoses sprayed water on the fire, I went back to "Selfish Ian" mode and wondered where the hell my bus would go, since the police had closed off traffic for a one-block radius. (I finally found a bus about two blocks away, near the main library, if you're concerned. And thanks if you were.)

If I can find any pictures, I'll post them. But I don't think any news photographers were on-hand when the fire was at its worst. They got the aftermath, the charred corner of the mall.