the Gundlach fire - April 2004
Smoke from the burning Gundlach Champion building casts a shadow
over the Houghton waterfront on April 24. The smoke, visible from
miles away, drew many onlookers to the Portage Lake Shipping Canal
to see firefighters battle the fire.
Olson/Daily Mining Gazette
atop the City of Houghton Volunteer Fire Department's ladder
truck spray a jet of water into the flames that engulfed the
Gundlach Champion building on the Houghton waterfront April
24. Four departments worked for nine hours to extinguish the
blaze, which gutted the 100-year-old building.
On the morning of April 24, I was
heading in to WMTU to do my morning radio show. As I moved across
the bridge, I realized that I wasn't going to get to my show on
What looked like an early dawn cloud from a distance was actually
the Herman Gundlach building ablaze. I called the radio station
to let them know I was going to be late because of work. I hit the
Gazette (which was a block from the fire) and grab a notepad and
As I'm about to leave work for the fire, my co-worker Garrett Nesse
pops up. We decided to divide the labor -- Garrett would write the
story and I would shoot photos until a staff photographer could
Given that I only had to shoot photos, I had time to work on shooting
and getting the best photos. For the first time, I used up an entire
card of memory for a story (about 64 photos). I really worked to
capture the scene up close. I moved across the bridge to the Quincy
smelter site because I wanted to capture the fire from a different
I wasn't certain that these photos would be used because typically
the newspaper is focused on the action. Ultimately the long shot
of the fire casting a smoky cloud over the area was the shot that
was used out of the hundreds of photos that were submitted.
Click on each photo to see a larger version.
on the image to see the front page from the April 26, 2004
edition of The Daily Mining Gazette.
Comments? ryan -at- rtomedia.com.