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Goner Message Board / Memphis / HOLY CHRIST! Downtown Memphis is burning!
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 2:36 pm
The historic First Methodist Church (1826) burned this morning, along with the Lincoln American Tower and the beautiful old Rhodes Jennings Building that was in the process of being renovated.
The fire started in the church and blew to the Tower and the RJB...
This makes me so sick. It hurts.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 2:46 pm
here is some helicopter footage on ch5.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) -- Fire swept through a historic downtown church early Friday, collapsing its steeple and flicking off embers that set fire to two other buildings, one of them 22 stories tall.

No injuries were immediately reported.

The First United Methodist Church, built in 1893, was largely destroyed. Its roof caved in, the steeple toppled, and some of the walls crumbled onto the streets. The flames then spread to two other buildings about three blocks from the church, including the Lincoln American Tower, once the tallest building in Memphis. (Watch how firefighters attacked Memphis blazes -- 1:58)

A developer was renovating one of the buildings into condominiums.

The Rev. Martha Wagley, pastor of the church, said members of her congregation gathered on the sidewalks as the building burned, crying and hugging and telling stories of who was "married and buried" in the building and things that had happened in worship services.

Wagley said her church is a "seven day a week" church with a food pantry and other ministries to people downtown.

"The building is lost, but not the church," Wagley said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 3:50 pm
Dude I work with lives across Main from the fire - he took a bunch of pics.
I'm trying to post them - I'll come back with a link when I get 'em online.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 3:51 pm
All of downtown smells like charred wood. Traffic is stopped around the area. No one was seriously hurt, thankfully. One firefighter was taken to the hospital for exhaustion. The big issue later, I hope, is the fact that 2 different folks say they called the fire department and it took them 45 minutes to arrive. The station is about 1 minute away. Both say firefighters didn't believe they were serious. . .
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 4:22 pm | Edited by: Uptight White
That's a pretty serious chunk of downtown and some really nice buildings, too. I wondered how it spread so fast. I can't believe they blew off the call. It don't make sense. If they were a minute away, they could probably smell it burning.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 5:09 pm | Edited by: Wire
Pics taken from 17th floor of 99 Main:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

Each one is about 700K
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 5:17 pm
isn't the fire museum one block away? no one there either, i guess.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 5:32 pm
thanks wire. i took a picture of this building ( i dont know the name of it)this summer during the renovation:

renovation in july:

lincoln american tower info:
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 6:00 pm
Any news on how this started???? Awful.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 6:10 pm
I used to lurk around in Lincoln American Tower as a teen. What a cool building. Damn.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 6:13 pm
holy shit! thats nuts! i smell insurance scam!
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 6:19 pm
Well, It is relatively close to the North End...
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 6:30 pm
Any news on how this started????
they think in the basement of the church. since its a church the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms is investigating.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 6:37 pm
Sounds like sleeping/drinking homeless guy fire to me. Shit.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 6:55 pm
yep. that's exactly what i was thinking fiery. the mfd is looking at it too it looks like.

Posted: Oct 6, 2006 8:30 pm
All the churches downtown have large homeless ministries. I was thinking it was probably homeless related, too. The other fires were known to have started from wind blown embers.
I went downtown at 9, and took a bunch of pics. I'll post a link when I get them up.
It was seriously sad. I cried in the street.
My kids go to First Pres with my ex. It was totally unbelievable to see the wreckage of First Methodist, and First Pres was absolutely untouched.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 8:45 pm
I saw the photo of the church in the CA and it is frightening how destroyed it is. That blog above speaks to the homeless camping out issue downtown and says that the church had problems with people sleeping in the outdoor stairwells (they should have grated them at night, but...) and breakins at night into their basement food pantry. We'll see but this sounds like a careless cigarette incident (as these things tend to be).
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 8:47 pm
that is really really sad. me and some of my friends when i was younger used to go and take pictures inside of the lincoln american building (when i was maybe 17-19 years old). that church was beautiful too. damn. why couldn't some ugly new building burn? grrrr.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 10:03 pm
I can't look at these photos - they are literally making me sick. the lincoln building and the lowenstein bros building are/were two of my all time favorite buildings. They are the reason I started taking photos - before I ever took a camera to a show. I passed by those buildings (and the church) almost every single day when I worked downtown and every single day they impressed me, even as only gutted buildings hinting at what they had been.

amen elle - why couldn't some of the shitty new constructions have burned - good riddance.

I really am sick over this. it makes me want to cry.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 10:27 pm
Windy, I say in the set description that I am not ashamed to admit I stood in the street and cried.

Wire, those pics from the Towers are insane.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 10:31 pm
I used to lurk around in Lincoln American Tower as a teen.

I've actually been up in the cupola. Scary, and fun.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 10:31 pm
Not to make light of any of this but....$2.09 a gallon at an Exxon?!?!?!??!?


What time were you out there, Alisa? Was it crazy windy last night? I can't believe they could not catch this.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 10:32 pm
Pardon the irony, but this one looks like a pentagram.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 10:32 pm
$2.09 a gallon at an Exxon?!?!?!??!?

It's o.k. Elections will be over soon.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 10:37 pm
I have not seen gas that cheap in over 4 years. I can't even afford designer gasoline. Cheap here is $2.70-ish.

I saw that pentagram too and was trying to figure it out. It is so unbelievable that the embers travelled that far and these 3 buildings are/were easily in the Top 10 of Downtown architecture. Fuck.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 10:45 pm
but this one looks like a pentagram.
Yeah, I noticed and it was spooky.

I was down there around 9 a.m. Yes, it was windy last night. It was all very strange. Stranger still was that First Pres was untouched.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 11:41 pm
The guy who took the pictures was telling me about it - he'd been hearing sirens for awhile, then saw a glow. Half-asleep, he opened his shades and was like "HOLY SHIT" and woke up instantly - "Get the dog, get in the truck and get the fuck out of here." Then he realized he wasn't going to die, but that fireball was about eye level, and not very far away.
Posted: Oct 6, 2006 11:50 pm
That is crazy cos the time the house next door to me in Florida burnt down I kept hearing all these pops and I ignored it for at least 3 minutes. I finally opened my eyes and saw that same glow...the bottom of my stomach dropped out when I opened the shade to see this huge Evergreen neighborhood-style house completely in flames with windows breaking everywhere.

We went in 5 days later and took pix with infrared B&W film...I highly encourage this. You will get amazing pictures. It was so scary and sad thought, because a man died there. Cigarette+Alcohol+Sleep=Fire.
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 2:52 am
The CNN coverage this morning: "The fire also damaged the Lincoln American Building, one of Memphis' tallest skyscrapers."

Historic building, yes, but this isn't 1910. WAKE UP CNN!!! 1910 IS OOOOOOVVVVVVERRRRRR!!!!
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 2:55 am
....and....the Channel 5 9AM news show alternated between coverage of the fire, and Greeley Kile (sic?) trying to comfort Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner.

"Don't worry, Dave, the fire won't impact the turnout."

That's very true. The fire will not be what impacts the turnout.
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 2:56 am
Actually, according to those pictures. 1910 is not over.
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 3:16 am
"Don't worry, Dave, the fire won't impact the turnout."

What the hell? Memphis LOVES a good disaster. Implosions are PARTY TIME!
And there were a LOT of people downtown this morning looky looing and snapping away...
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 3:29 am
I think Bush started the fire to distract us from Boi-gate, but that's just the paranoiac in me ...
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 3:30 am
$2.09 a gallon at an Exxon?!?!?!??!?

It's o.k. Elections will be over soon.

Jack Stands, it makes me sad that you're actually part-serious about saying that ...
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 3:31 am
Cynic. Sue me.
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 3:48 am

Mark, I'm disenchanted. I don't hate the Republican party. I actually agree with more issues than you'd think. I'm pro-gun, slightly nationalist, and certainly fiscally conservative. I just hate the entire Bush family and his choices and attitude about administration. The Dems are the only ones (like there's a choice) to bring up my concerns about privacy and call bullshit on admin bullshit (and there is a lot of it). If the Dems could put forth some kind of clear, concise agenda, I'd look at it. But they spend so much time focusing on the fuck-ups, they believe that'll win tthem everything. Well, it won't. Take Foley. Sure it looks bad, but at voting time, folks in Any-Othertown USA are going to say, "well, thank god he's not from here". Dems wish they were as organized as the 'Pubs.

As for Oil prices, I'm not buying any of the "futures markets, OPEC/Non-OPEC projections". It didn't make any sense shortly after Katrina, and technically we should be paying more right now, due to the BP fuck-up a few months ago. I've spent Bush's entire time in office (after 9/11, he was a dumbass prior to that, driving us into a recession) saying to myself "surely, he wouldn't... Surely he's thinking about the health of our country and Constitution" on any given foible. But I'm wrong every time.

End sidebar.
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 7:04 pm | Edited by: Alisa
Anyone see the front page of the CA today? Huge pic on the top AND bottom fold.
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 7:24 pm
No. Tell me they used your pics,and gave you credit.
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 7:26 pm
Hey, I did find something cool today, though, about my pics. Shangri-la's MySpace page has a couple of my pics of Tony Joe White on there...one of them is being used as the main pic. They did give me credit...
Posted: Oct 7, 2006 8:32 pm
"Don't worry, Dave, the fire won't impact the turnout."

Are you serious?!?!?! What expression did that old man (not Greeley) have on his face to warrant that? Faux concern?

I am too hungover to fairly discuss politics.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 8:56 am
I am too hungover to fairly discuss politics

Um, Kristen, Dave Pirner is not involved with politics. Unless it's the politics of Dave Pirner.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 5:28 pm
I was refering to everyone else's posts on oil et al, not Pirner, but you gotta know that. But, now I am intigued, I wonder what politics that bloated guy has? Does he still have whiteboy dreads?
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 5:52 pm
I thought he was running as Al Franken's v.p. of Minnesota? My bad.
Posted: Oct 9, 2006 1:46 am
I still have whiteboy dreads...

Posted: Oct 9, 2006 3:32 am
i saw pirner on the "live at 9" show on channel 3- no dreads. alex coleman was beside himself with excitement about having these big stars on his show.

pirner was actually pretty funny in the interviews. looked rough as hell though.

and can't believe chris herrington didn't do a piece on him! a minneapolis band and no feature!
Posted: Oct 9, 2006 3:49 am
Was something else burning today? Dirty and I and her cousin were driving down town and saw a big billowing cloud of smoke about a mile due north of the ball field.
Posted: Oct 9, 2006 3:03 pm | Edited by: flesheater99
Moms sent me a link about a major fire at Riverset in Harbortown as well. Pretty sure that's the one I (and countless others) used to sneak into to use their pool summer after summer.
Posted: Oct 9, 2006 3:45 pm
hung out with pirner a little after our show at the hi-tone and he was funny as shit. he looks about like i thought he would, i mean he's gotten up there in years, he was no spring chicken when they got popular. had fun shooting the shit with him. didn't ask how attendance was at his show.
Posted: Oct 9, 2006 3:45 pm
p.s. fiery, no he has a regular guy haircut now, pretty short.
Posted: Oct 9, 2006 3:45 pm
but he's pretty tall.
Posted: Oct 10, 2006 8:09 pm
http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/local/article/0,2845,MCA_25340_505 4618,00.html
How can they not know what caused it but know that it ain't arson?
Posted: Oct 10, 2006 8:42 pm
the absence of accelerants, for one thing
Posted: Oct 10, 2006 9:02 pm
well lookie who's a forensisist.

Maybe YOU did it.
Posted: Oct 10, 2006 9:44 pm
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 3:29 am
Pirner never had white-boy dreads.
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 3:31 am
I swear, no white boy dreads, I mean they weren't THAT bad!!!
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 3:33 am
I could swear he did in the 80's. Maybe it was simply matted, which really is "white boy dreads" if you wanna get technical.
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 3:41 am
They weren't THAT bad, he was just perfectly unwashed. I mean, the guy was cute, his band was just boring.
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 2:26 pm
I'm sorry, but Hangtime rocks.
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 6:09 pm
You & me, we just disagree on this one.

(Maybe I need to give it another listen, but I dunno, I was seriously unimpressed with that band)
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 6:15 pm
it's true, hangtime rocks.
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 6:22 pm
Hang Time, Made to Be Broken and While You Were Out all have good songs on 'em. "Freaks" is a favorite.

Saw them around the time they were touring for . . .And the Horse They Rode In On. I remember a plexiglas cage they had around the drums due to Pirner's tinnitus.
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 6:24 pm
and live they could definately hang with anyone i've ever seen, up until about the time that pirner decided he had tinitus and forced the band to lower onstage volume and surrounded the drummer with baffles, but before that...
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 6:45 pm
I had Made to Be Broken and While You Were Out and I was just never impressed enough to listen to the records very much. I heard Hang Time a coupla times, but again, it just did not catch me. Again, all this listening was going on when I was 17-19 (1985-87) years old. I didn't give them a chance past those years. I liked some good bands of a similar ilk back then too, so it wasn't like I had absolutely no taste, just no taste for Soul Asylum.
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 6:47 pm
And seriously, whatever they did as kids, their grunge-era rennaisance with the Winona Ryder squiring and all that BS...sorry, charlie. I'd have to like you an awful lot to get over that.
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 8:24 pm
i didn't pay attention to any of that. if a band puts out two or three records i think are great, then they were great to me. and i certainly could care less what they do at the celebrity a list parties. but i can see how it could turn you off.
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