Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Gap

I found myself in the borough of White Haven Sunday afternoon, and I cannot pass through town without remembering the huge fire that took out a big hunk of the 400 block of Main Street.

As you can see from the photo above, taken Sunday afternoon, the space remains empty.

The fire here started just before 4 AM on December 23rd of 1987.  I would have guessed a few years earlier, but that's according to the White Haven Fire web site, and I doubt it's wrong.  I was working day shift at a radio station back then, and I remember driving in to town, and being in awe of the devastation.

I did what we do-- talked with people affected, and there were a lot of them.  Businesses and apartments were gone.  It had and still has a big impact on the borough.

A couple things stick out from that day.  There was a TV reporter following me around like a lost puppy.  I almost snapped at her and told her to do her own work.  She went on to a TV job in Baltimore.  Go figure.  The other thing was an investigator admitted there was so much devastation, they might never know what sparked the flames.  The candidness impressed me.  You see, real life isn't like prime time TV.  Investigators don't have all the answers, and things are never in a neat package after just one hour.

Even though there's a big hole on Main Street, White Haven is still a very pretty town.  I took some pleasant photos of the area, and I'll share them on a weekend in the not too distant future.