We could see the flames and smoke from our back lot some 4 or 5 blocks away. After throwing on jackets, scarves, and gloves, we ran down the street with cell phone cameras in hand. By the time we got there, many other people had gathered in the blockbuster parking lot, just looking up. Smoke filled the already dark night air and a gentle mist of water frosted our faces from the fire hoses doing their best to contain the flames. Everyone was looking at the same sight, the two tall steeples of a historic Cincinnati landmark, St. George were engulfed in bright flames. It was an eery sight to look up at tall steep roofs of shingles completely covered with fire, and to see two crosses, rising just above, the flames giving light to, but not touching. As we stood there, the wind blowing smoke, ash, and water in our faces on an already cold night, the firemen near a fire hydrant chased away spectators that tried to get a little too close with their cameras. Dozens of flashing lights covered the streets so that no one that wasn’t in uniform could get anywhere near the danger. After not all too long, the western roof started to creak, and in slow motion tumbled down, falling back onto the rest of the church. If you looked close enough you could, however, see water overflowing from the top of the church, so that steeple bathed, causing no danger. Only about 10 minutes later while watching in awe, the eastern steeple, in repeat of the first, creaked and crashed to the ground. The sound of wood breaking along with a dense cloud of hot embers filled the air. Before the second steeple had fallen, pieces had fallen off the front of the church onto power lines, making the storefronts at our backs fall dark. With the light from the church, it wasn’t really noticeable. We stood around for a little while longer. A WCPO Channel 9 guy with camera came over by us, and after exchanging a few words, asked if any of us would mind an interview. I volunteered and told what I had seen. Soon after, the three alarm fire appeared to be completely under control, and we started our walk back to the house. The mist from the hoses was freezing over the sidewalks, and the air smelled of smoke. On the way back, a number of people stopped us asking what was going on. One older lady out in her front yard with her dog, just hung her head with the news.
Below I have included pictures taken with my iPhone.
notice in picture img_01251.JPG all the embers flying in the air after the first steeple fell.