I’m in the news business, but it isn’t often that we get much hard, breaking news here in Magnolia. That’s both a blessing and a curse. Today I shot photos at a house fire close to downtown. I was standing in a jewelry store buying Christa’s Valentine’s Day gift when my phone rang. It was my reporter, tipping me to a “big fire” somewhere along Main Street. I hauled ass back to the office (gift in hand!), grabbed my camera and long lens, and drove as quickly as I could to the scene. You never know where you’re going to end up in one of these situations; while the house itself was just a block or two off Main, it was still somewhat difficult to reach, especially with the streets closed to traffic by emergency vehicles. Spotting an Entergy truck shutting off the power to the burning house, I parked in a vacant lot and hot-footed it down a makeshift alley (two dirt tire ruts between houses) toward the scene. Immediately, I heard a dog start barking. Sure enough, there was a pit bull in the driveway of the house I was skirting. I didn’t know what the fuck would happen, but as it turned out, the dog was chained and posed no real threat. I got my shots, including the one above, of the fire chief comforting a woman who apparently lived there. Not wanting to rile up Fido any more than necessary, I took the long way back to the car, cutting through the back parking lots of a nearby barbecue joint as well as a KFC. I made it home in time for lunch and to give Christa her (early) Valentine’s Day present.