A Song of Fire and Ice
January 7, 2014 11:56 AM   Subscribe

Photo gallery: Happy's Pizza in Ann Arbor burns in subzero temperatures (deslide version)
posted by klangklangston (63 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
(warning: Page locks up solid on iPad)
posted by ardgedee at 12:03 PM on January 7


Dang, I wondered what was going on over there. The whole street was blocked off.
posted by nat at 12:04 PM on January 7


If you showed me this picture without context, my first guess would be "icebound wreck of a 19th century polar expedition schooner." It would take me maybe seventy, eighty guesses to get to "burned out Michigan pizza parlor."
posted by Iridic at 12:04 PM on January 7 [29 favorites]


That's nothing on last year's "ice castle" in Chicago.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:08 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


why do all the news websites use this really shoddy slideshow webapp that never works?
posted by royalsong at 12:16 PM on January 7 [25 favorites]


Those photos are incredible. The hose-carrying fireman covered in frost, the juxtaposition of the raging fire and the crosswalk signal laden with icicles… Always hate to see a place lost to fire, but these are fantastic shots.
posted by xedrik at 12:16 PM on January 7


Collective 'NOOOOOOO!' from a hundred million freezing Midwesterners as the firefighters turn on the hose.
posted by carsonb at 12:16 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Happy's is the Los Pollos Hermanos of the metro Detroit area.

I mean, come on, their mascot is clearly stoned out of his mind.

Also, the place was raided by DEA/ATF/IRS a few years back.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 12:17 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


take this: subtract half the men, three quarters of the equipment then multiply the number of fires times fifteen.

The product is the present state of the Detroit Fire Department.
(btw I used to live three blocks from this pizza place once I graduated UMichigan)
posted by coachfortner at 12:17 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


> why do all the news websites use this really shoddy slideshow webapp that never works?

Because it's a single company running them all off a single platform.
posted by ardgedee at 12:21 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


My father was an Indianapolis fire fighter through the 50's, 60's and 70's. I have this great 8x10 of him (shot by a department photographer) working a fire in sub-zero weather, with icicles hanging off his helmet and his nose.

Deep-winter, sub-zero fires are a special kind of bullshit for firefighters.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:21 PM on January 7 [12 favorites]


why do all the news websites use this really shoddy slideshow webapp that never works?
posted by royalsong at 3:16 PM on January 7


Because when a web development company specs out your needs at $12,000, and Johnny Freshman says he can do it for $300, you get the $300 Drupal plugin from Poland.
posted by four panels at 12:22 PM on January 7 [25 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Happy's is the Los Pollos Hermanos of the metro Detroit area.

"Delivering more than just great pizza."
posted by Sys Rq at 12:24 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Heck, I could make them a decent-looking tabular thumbnail gallery for $100 and sandwiches that would be both more useful and more attractive.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:25 PM on January 7


Ugh, what a miserable time to have a fire to respond to; somebody get those firefighters a pizza!

Or, um, hot soup I guess?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:26 PM on January 7


I bet they played music really loud to drown out the smell of the reefer.

Seriously, though. That sucks.
posted by Redfield at 12:28 PM on January 7


Heck, I could make them a decent-looking tabular thumbnail gallery for $100 and sandwiches that would be both more useful and more attractive.

The problem is probably that it has to work with a shambling CMS and users less comfortable with computers than your mom.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:31 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Holy mothballs those pictures are really cool!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:31 PM on January 7


Why does the fireman sit down while he is dousing the fire?
posted by shothotbot at 12:32 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Why does the fireman sit down while he is dousing the fire?

My guess is so that he doesn't slip.
posted by Elly Vortex at 12:37 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Why does the fireman sit down while he is dousing the fire?

My guess is so that he doesn't slide away on the ice from the pressure of the firehose.

On preview, or what Elly "Polar" Vortex said.
posted by slogger at 12:38 PM on January 7 [11 favorites]


Any links to the images themselves, or a de-slided version? I can't get the slideshow to work at all.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:39 PM on January 7



why do all the news websites use this really shoddy slideshow webapp that never works?


Somehow it managed to get stuck for me every fifth photo, no matter which direction I am cycling.
posted by aubilenon at 12:40 PM on January 7


The most fun firemen have is when a sporting goods store burns, full of rifle ammunition and tanks of propane.

But this has to be pretty fun, too.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:42 PM on January 7


I really want to head over there with a car full of blankets and hot soup. What miserable conditions to have to be spraying water everywhere.
posted by xingcat at 12:42 PM on January 7


I was so ready for this to be a pleasant article about a pizza shop keeping its ovens stoked despite the polar vortex, churning out warm bubbling cheesy goodness for the people of Michigan, and instead I get this bullshit. God damn it, god damn every one of you.
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:44 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Why does the fireman sit down while he is dousing the fire?

My guess is so that he doesn't slide away on the ice from the pressure of the firehose.

On preview, or what Elly "Polar" Vortex said.


Just to add: he is very unlikely to fall from that position.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:44 PM on January 7


What a damn mess.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 12:50 PM on January 7


The typical fire hose (running from the pumper) will be operating between 100-150 psi., depending on conditions and how much lift they need for the spray. It can be as high as 250 psi if need be.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:51 PM on January 7


See also photos of the Bangor, Maine Masonic temple which was destroyed in a winter fire in 2004.
posted by usonian at 12:56 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


For you old timers, I believe that's the old Wolverine Deli building..

And, you want Michigan Ice.. check out this lighthouse in St. Joseph
posted by HuronBob at 1:04 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Just to add: he is very unlikely to fall from that position.

also maybe hes just sad and yanno needs to think for a moment about the impermanence of all things in this imperfect world so leave him alone to his hose and his thoughts fire marshall jerkwad
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:05 PM on January 7 [35 favorites]


Thanks, robocop is bleeding, now my whole office knows I'm reading non-approved material on my computer.


And you owe me a keyboard.
posted by blurker at 1:07 PM on January 7



Somehow it managed to get stuck for me every fifth photo, no matter which direction I am cycling.


For me it was every three, and when you clicked on the next one in the series it would rewind back one or two or one time all the way back to the beginning. With about 35 clicks I think I managed to see them all, though.
posted by elizardbits at 1:27 PM on January 7


No, wait, there are 29 photos. I have seen 8.

cry
posted by elizardbits at 1:29 PM on January 7


Do they use special water? Heated water? Anything like that? Does this make fires a lot harder to fight?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:29 PM on January 7


Yeah, that just occurred to me as well, with all the "boiling water to snow" stuff going on in the POLAR VORTEX ZOMG thread. How does the hose water not turn into snow?

dark magicks presumably
posted by elizardbits at 1:34 PM on January 7


The photo of the ice-caked hydrant brought to mind a 2012 NYT posting about the 1912 Equitable Life Assurance Society fire:

“Ice seemed to form in the very air,” The Times reported. “It clogged the apparatus, rooting the pieces to the frozen streets. It settled in cloaks over the [firemen] themselves so that they had to be chopped and thawed out from time to time that they might go on with the work.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:35 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


These guys are awesome. I would look for any excuse to enter the structure just to keep warm.
posted by dr_dank at 1:39 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Those poor firefighters were working that fire for 12 hours today. I think the warmest it got around here was 1 degree discounting windchill. And now the radio says to avoid the area because unsurprisingly Main St is coated in ice. Not like I was planning on going anywhere until it warms up but still....

And yeah - always had the impression that Happy's was the stoner pizza place from a kid's friend who worked at a different one. Never been to one though.
posted by leslies at 1:40 PM on January 7


the "boiling" part is important for the freezing-before-hitting-something. I dunno how cold it has to be to get water to freeze if you just throw a cup of it in the air, but colder than if you throw a *boiling* cup in the air.
posted by nat at 1:40 PM on January 7


Do they use special water? Heated water? Anything like that? Does this make fires a lot harder to fight?

Nope. Just city water straight out of the hydrant.
Water shooting from a pressurized nozzle is going to be aerated on its way to the fire. This creates a mist that will freeze and coat everything, including the firefighters. Yeah, it can make things pretty miserable.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:43 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid my class in elementary school got to fire the hose.

In retrospect it seems like a bad idea. I'm sort of surprised the hose didn't take off with a half dozen sixty-five pound eight year olds hanging onto it.

Which is to say that from memory those things are a beast. Maybe that firefighter dude is just tired.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:46 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Obligatory
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:50 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


elizardbits: "How does the hose water not turn into snow? "

This is actually a big part of what firefighter school is about -- learning all kinds of highly-technical information about how to suppress and extinguish a fire by optimizing HOW the water is going at the fire, including things like droplet size and velocity and whatnot, in various weather conditions, on different types of fire, etc. If you start here and read down you can get a bit of an idea.

If you go by your local firehouse (if you feel weird knocking on the door, just strike up a conversation on a nice day when they're cleaning the trucks and already outside) and ask one of the firefighters about how the nozzles for the hoses work and how they know which ones to use, they are REALLY DELIGHTED to talk about it. We live near a firehouse and in the summer my preschoolers try to come up with excuses to loiter outside it when we're on walks until the firefighters notice them and invite them to come see the trucks, so I have gotten to talk to the firefighters a LOT. They're pretty enthusiastic about answering firefighting questions, even if your question starts, "So I was watching CSI ..." but EVEN MORE SO if your question is, "So I saw that fire in the freezing cold in Ann Arbor, how do you even get water on the fire when it's like that?"

Probably if you went here they'd tell you about it too.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:04 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Forget all the questions about why the fireman is sitting down. You're glossing over the fact that his ass must be freezing.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:05 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


For me it was every three, and when you clicked on the next one in the series it would rewind back one or two or one time all the way back to the beginning. With about 35 clicks I think I managed to see them all, though.

Deslide is your friend for sites like that.
posted by madajb at 2:07 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Here's a little more about cold-weather firefighting:

Chicago Tribune on the logistics of winter firefighting after that "ice palace" warehouse fire

A Bismark (ND) firefighter on some of the special problems of cold-weather firefighting, like losing fire hydrants under snow and having to find them with metal detectors, battery-operated equipment shutting down, and frozen hose lines

Fighting fires in the Canadian arctic, including how to dress
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:12 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Why does the fireman sit down while he is dousing the fire?

My guess is so that he doesn't slide away on the ice from the pressure of the firehose.

On preview, or what Elly "Polar" Vortex said.

Just to add: he is very unlikely to fall from that position.


Because an unsecured fire hose will thrash like a dragon's tail. Everyone above is right - keeping a fire hose pointed in the right direction is a workout under ideal conditions. Keeping it pointed in the right direction while standing on a non-level skating rink must be a thousand times worse.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 2:16 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


[Added deslide link to post at poster's request.]
posted by cortex at 2:30 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I have more terrible news. Pepe's North of the Border, the beloved northernmost (and worst) Mexican restaurant in the entire world, also burned down in August.

In the Arctic, once a building gets going there's not much anyone can do.
posted by spitbull at 2:48 PM on January 7


That Happy's is on the corner of Main and Madison. There is, at least, a 24-hour gas station across the street and a 7-11 a block away who I'm sure were happy to let some firefighters warm up a little. I think there used to be a phone store (Verizon? ATT? -- one of those, I can't remember) at that location before it was a pizza joint. I have no recollection of it being anything before that, though I'm sure it was some sort of commercial building.
posted by axiom at 2:54 PM on January 7


Amazing images - those fire fighters are true heroes
posted by mumimor at 2:57 PM on January 7


I just hope nobody got hurt and that all of the employees will be able to collect unemployment.
posted by mareli at 3:18 PM on January 7


Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor pizza
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:21 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


The viral images of the the frozen lighthouses and other buildings are reminding me of Doctor Zhivago.

the "boiling" part is important for the freezing-before-hitting-something.
Um ...

Thanks, robocop is bleeding, now my whole office knows I'm reading non-approved material on my computer.

Hey, work emails make me laugh all the time.
(Just not intentionally.)
posted by NorthernLite at 3:33 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


The caption for this photo, "An Ann Arbor firefighter sits on top of a fire truck as he mans a hose [...]", should really have gone on this one. That's "manning a hose".
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:49 PM on January 7


Won't somebody think of the cheese?!!?
All that cheese that went up in smoke instead of being eaten by happy people who deserve cheese.
Oh the cheesemanity...
posted by rmless at 4:05 PM on January 7


I just hope nobody got hurt and that all of the employees will be able to collect unemployment.

I'm pretty sure nobody (who works there, anyway, can't speak for the firefighters) got hurt -- the fire started in the wee hours of the morning Tuesday, and that particular pizza place doesn't stay open late on Monday nights. I think they close by midnight.
posted by axiom at 4:13 PM on January 7


Hey uh, why is the firefighter sitting down?

Thanks in Advance,
posted by Colonel Panic at 11:11 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


rmless:
All that cheese that went up in smoke instead of being eaten by happy people who deserve cheese.
It's Happy's, not Zingerman's. The pizza is passable, but only just. However they are wonderful for delivering everything else under the sun. You know, for when you want a cheeseburger and a half-slab of ribs but don't want to leave the house or cook.
posted by charred husk at 9:26 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


All that cheese that went up in smoke instead of being eaten by happy people who deserve cheese.

Maybe.

As I noted above, my dad was a firefighter. More than once, after a restaurant fire, our home deep freezer became mysteriously stocked with much more expensive food than we were normally accustomed to. The "official" reason was that the restaurant owners would tell the guys to help themselves to what's in the freezers, since none of it could be sold now.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:47 PM on January 8


Way late to the discussion here, and it's already been discussed upthread, but the firefighter is sitting down because he's engaged in an exterior defensive attack for a long period of time. One person can generally handle an 1 3/4" line pretty easily in normal fireground conditions, and you won't see someone sitting on a defensive line unless it's at least a 2 1/2". These aren't normal conditions, and holding a line that's continually being used for extinguishment or control can become tiring. I was surprised to see so many small handlines used (if I'm defensive, those 2 1/2"s are coming off the truck; hell, I'm going to pull a 3" with a blitz and set that up, too, if I have it), but if it's what ya got, it's what ya use.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 7:40 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


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