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April 29, 2007.

This is what the SF Chronicle had to say, "A tanker truck carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline had overturned at 3:41 a.m. and burst into flames on the 50-foot-high ramp connecting westbound Interstate 80 to southbound Interstate 880. Within minutes, the ramp above it -- connecting eastbound I-80 to eastbound I-580 -- collapsed in the 3,000-degree cauldron."

Here is my story. I had just gotten off work. I just drove a taxi for ten hours and was exhausted. Now that I live in the East Bay I needed to go over the Bay Bridge and then proceed to 580 to Highway 24 to get out to Pittsburg (where I bought a house). There were detour signs blocking the entrance to 580. The traffic was detoured East to 80. I proceeded to the detour, looked to my right and saw the night sky lit up with the giant fire. I few people had pulled over on the freeway to look at the fire. I pulled my car to the left shoulder and got my camera out of the trunk. I thought it was too dangerous to cross the freeway, so I shot at full size ( 3300 pixels ) with my Nikon D70. I only shot 14 frames. If I knew I would have been the only person shooting night shots, I would have stayed longer on the scene. But I was exhausted from work and it was 4 a.m., so I went home.

I arrived home close to 5 a.m. I decided to download the photos and see what I got. I decided that someone may want them. So I looked up the e-mail addresses of the Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle from their websites and e-mailed them reduced sized copies of the photos. I finally went to sleep. When I woke up a few hours later my phone was ringing off the hook. Every paper I sent the photos to wanted to buy them. Since I was a freelancer, I had to make a deal with each paper individually. My photo ran on page 1 of the Oakland Tribune, page 7 of the Contra Costa Times and the on-line edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. I was also told by a friend that it ran in the Hayward Ledger.

Freeway1 (61K) I parked on the left shoulder. The fire was to the right, but I thought that it was too dangerous to try to cross the freeway to get better shots.
3:56 a.m.

Freeway2 (58K) I used flash to try to match the light of the fire with the foreground.
3:56 a.m.

Freeway3 (62K) When I arrived on the scene I did not know about the truck, all I could see were the flames and the massive fire.
3:56 a.m.

Freeway4 (65K) If I realized how big a story this has become I think I would have left my car and tried to get closer to the fire.
3:56 a.m.

Freeway5 (56K) The two sections of the freeway that are on fire in the photo used to connect to each other. Now there is a big empty section.
3:59 a.m.


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