Thursday, August 14, 2008

Local Fire Brings out the Choppers

Yesterday's massive fire at the "Riverwalk at Millenium" complex, Conshohocken-Montgomery county, was a $51 million complex in the final stages of construction. The inferno (an 8-alarmer, though labeled as an "all points fire" by fire officials) was covered en-masse by the local affiliates and smoke could be seen along I-476, I-76 as well as streets and highways in the area causing headaches for drivers.
Chopper 3, Chopper 6, Chopper 10 and SkyFox (29) hovered overhead as the fire raged out of control during yesterday's rush hour. The heat was so intense (6,000 degrees according to a reported posted on it even melted some of the interior seats and outer plastic housing of fire trucks working the fire, 300 firefighters in all from four counties. PennDot even got in on the credit by providing stations with a live shot of the fire from a PennDot camera along the Schuylkill expressway in Conshohocken that was almost due south of the fire scene. The picture above was taken by a photographer and posted with a story on All the stations went to "breaking news" mode during their newscasts using a live Penndot shot of the out-of-control fire, initially. One by one, as stations could react, they went to live chopper shots over the fire followed by on-the-ground reports by reporters on-scene--Leslie Van Arsdall from CBS-3--Dan Cuellar and Chad Predelli from channel 6 to name a few. Channel 6 covered the fire non-stop as it became obvious the fire was going out-of-control and spreading to two nearby apartment complexes forcing evacuations of residents. CBS-3 broke into "Dr. Phil" with breaking developments using Chris May in the newsroom and Bob Kelly covering traffic. By 5:30, Chris May was back on the set (with Angella Russell subbing for the vacationing Susan Barnett) and the station continued LIVE with the story until the 6:30 network news. Channel 3 provided a LIVE update at 7 p.m. while Channel 6 did the same. Channels 10 and 29 stuck with normal programming from 6:30 p.m. until their late night newscasts. When all was said and done, 400 people are now left homeless. The wrecking ball arrived this morning to begin tearing down the two destroyed structures. Damage reports at this point is estimated at $10 million. Injuries have been reported to be two along with several pets who could not be rescued.


Anonymous said...

During some of Channel 3's coverage they had Walt Hunter doing coverage from the newsroom while Chris May did nothing. If Chris May can't handle the coverage himself without needing another reporter to back him up he should not get the main anchor job.

Anonymous said...

i was watching 6 most of the time and thought it was goofy as hell for monica malpass to describe the fire as a nightmare of epic proportions when we have soldiers dying in iraq/afhanistan. soldiers dying vs. an apartment fire?