Rolling Stock Tire Fire
Photo-shoot with the band 7 year Bitch in the Mission District in San Francisco
Elizabeth Simpson and I surf together in Pacifica, Ca and had approached me to do a photoshoot with her band, "7 year bitch". To photograph three beautiful women, (Elizabeth, Valerie and Selene) is always fun and I was excited to do it. The shoot was planned at 8:30 am on Sunday the 8th of November, at Valerie Agnew's house. Always early, I pulled into Shotwell street from 16th street driving by a clutter of homeless guys sleeping next to a big roll-up door on the right. Thinking I better park a little further away from them, a parking space offered itself to me magically. I didn't hesitate and pulled in, because my destination was just another block away and I considered myself lucky to have even found a parking space in the Mission District.
I usually spend my time relaxing in my beloved, sandy and hairy KIA Sportagebefore a photoshoot and hate nothing more than to rush.
After a few glances at my social media apps on my iphone, I checked my surroundings in the rearview mirror.
This area is packed with homeless people and drug addicts. I lived only a few blocks from here 15 years ago for 6 month, I couldn't stand the constant atmosphere of delirium tremens and jonesing of the hollow eyed, hobbling walking dead especially early in the morning.
Then I saw smoke coming from the corner of 16th and Shotwell, a lot of smoke that was reaching the other side of the street.
At this point at around 7:45, I thought it might be a good idea to call the fire department, figuring none of the bums in the neighborhood might have phones and it was still pretty desolate this early on a Sunday morning. While on the phone with 911 the first cop-car came flying down Shotwell street, so I told the operator that there were already cops on the scene and I could already hear the fire engines already.
So I watched the fire, but I needed to see this and got out of my car, covered my camera gear with my mexican blanket. Very paranoid, as my camera gear is very expensive, but I couldn't resist watching.
It was not until I realized, this was a tire and auto-body shop with lots of oil, chemicals and tires, that I slowly started to retreat back towards my car, thinking
"Shit the whole block could just explode!"
I saw the police trying to get people out of the houses next to the fire and than I heard the noises of explosions.
By now the fire had erupted into a black toxic mushroom cloud and I thought I'dbetter give up that nice parking space and move my car up at least a block or two.
....and good thing that I did move my car, amazingly there was a spot just a block up the road, because the entire block was needed in order for the 110 fire fighter to get this shit in control.
The toxic cloud was brought down with the rain within the next two hours that I spend indoors!