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asher tool fire

It tends to be that the colder months are the quieter months when it comes to spot news. However, this past December and January kept me busy. Fires. Accidents. Murders. The whole lot.

Here is a take of some of what I was chasing these last two months.

December started off with an accident between a freight train and a semi truck. The cab of the truck was pushed about 100 yards down the tracks. The drive of the truck was killed in the accident.

fatal train vs truck crash

Emergency responders work the scene of a semi truck vs. freight train accident that left one dead Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in the 2700 block of Alworth Road in Winnebago. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2014

Corn from a semi truck's trailer litters the road and train tracks after it collided with a freight train Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in the 2700 block of Alworth Road in Winnebago. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2014

Corn from a semi truck’s trailer litters the road and train tracks after it collided with a freight train Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in the 2700 block of Alworth Road in Winnebago. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2014

The following week, after responding to multiple accident calls on the scanner that ended up being nothing serious, we rushed to a call of a school bus on fire. Nobody was injured.

school bus fire

Rockford firefighters work a school bus fire Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, on Kishwaukee Street near Grove Street in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2014

school bus fire

Rockford firefighters work a school bus fire Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, on Kishwaukee Street near Grove Street in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2014

A few days later, we heard a call regarding a police chase that ended in a crash on a bridge. It involved the U.S. Marshals chasing a fugitive.

u.s. marshals crash

Jose Garcia is escorted in handcuffs to an ambulance Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, on 20th Street south of Sandy Hollow Road in Rockford. Garcia is being charged with aggravated assault and fleeing to elude after crashing into a vehicle driven by U.S. Marshals from the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force out of Chicago. The U.S. Marshall were after Garcia’s passenger, Baldemar Garcia, who was wanted on outstanding warrants. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2014

I was called in early on my day off after we learned of a quadruple murder that happened late the night before. There wasn’t much left to photograph when I arrived on scene.

quadruple murder

Rockford police investigate the scene Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, of the fatal shooting of two adults and two children in the 3200 block of Montrose Avenue. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2014

The family held a memorial service and funeral after the holidays.

While waiting for the funeral to begin, I fired a frame on my backup camera, a Canon 1D Mark II N, so I could use the Eye-Fi card (the 1DX doesn’t have an SD card slot) and send an image to the newspaper instantly. I popped on a 300mm lens with a 1.4x converter to give me a 420mm f/4 lens. This camera maxes out at 3200 ISO and images appear very grainy at that setting. This was shot at 1/40th sec.

funeral

Family members pay their respects Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, during a funeral at Rockford First for the victims of a quadruple homicide in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2014

calvin rhodes

Calvin Rhodes speaks Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, during a funeral at Rockford First for the victims of a quadruple homicide in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2014

My colleague and I collaborated on a video from the service.

Shortly after the new year, we went to a homicide in the neighboring town of Belvidere.

belvidere murder

Belvidere Police place evidence markers while investigating possible homicide Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, at an apartment complex on Tobyne Drive in Belvidere. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

belvidere murder

Illinois State Police crime scene investigators bag evidence from a dumpster Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, at an apartment complex on Tobyne Drive in Belvidere. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

A few hours later, there was a call for a possible person in the Rock River that may have jumped off a bridge. The river was mostly frozen. The fire department lowered a sonar device into the water to see if they could find anyone. They were unsuccessful. Later reports suggested that the suspect from the Belvidere murder that morning may have jumped in the river, however, these are unconfirmed.

bridge jumper

Rockford firefighters pull a sonar device out of the water to reposition Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, while searching for a possible person in the Rock River near the Jefferson Street Bridge in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

That night, a teenage girl was shot to death. I wasn’t at that scene. However, we caught up with her family a few days later.

Tammisha Palmer, a close family friend of the late Jazznique "Jazz" Fort's family, talks about the family's loss Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, at the family's home in Rockford. Fort, a 15-year-old Auburn High School freshman, was shot and killed on Jan. 2. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

Tammisha Palmer, a close family friend of the late Jazznique “Jazz” Fort’s family, talks about the family’s loss Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, at the family’s home in Rockford. Fort, a 15-year-old Auburn High School freshman, was shot and killed on Jan. 2. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

That was an instance where I was very happy to have the low light capabilities of the 1DX. This image was shot at 1/100th sec at f/2.8 at ISO 25,600. I didn’t want to use any additional light than the little bit of daylight that was spilling between the curtains. Shortly after I took this frame, another family member entered the room and turned on the lights.

The next morning, I was called out of bed to go to the scene of a large warehouse fire. The sun wasn’t up when I went out and the temperature was a few degrees below zero (plus windchill).

asher tool fire

Firefighters work the scene of a large warehouse fire Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

asher tool fire

A firefighter operates the hose on a ladder truck Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, while battling a fire on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

asher tool fire

Firefighters work the scene of a large warehouse fire Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

asher tool fire

Firefighters work to contain a large blaze Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at a warehouse on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

asher tool fire

A firefighter operates the hose on a ladder truck Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, while battling a fire on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

asher tool fire

Firefighters work the scene of a large warehouse fire Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

asher tool fire

Firefighters work the scene of a large warehouse fire Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

asher tool fire

A firefighter operates the hose on a ladder truck Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, while battling a fire on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

asher tool fire

Firefighters position the ladder on a quint to spray water on a large blaze Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at a warehouse on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

asher tool fire

A firefighter guides a Rockford salt truck down the street as two buildings burn Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

I also put together a somewhat raw video from the scene.

Before I could finish editing the pictures from the fire, I was sent out to the interstate for a fatal semi truck crash.

semi crash

A wrecked semi truck sits in the ditch Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, along Interstate 90 near Harlem Road in Loves Park. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

The next day, firefighters were still on the scene of the warehouse fire. I went back out to get aftermath shots. Firefighters still hadn’t gone inside the building as it was still smoldering.

asher tool fire

Smoke rises from the Asher Tool building as it continues to smolder Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

asher tool fire

Smoke rises from the Asher Tool building as it continues to smolder Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

asher tool fire

Smoke rises from the Asher Tool building as it continues to smolder Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

A week after the blaze broke out, the building was still smoldering. Firefighters went in to hose down hot spots.

asher tool fire

Rockford firefighters work to put out smoldering rubble Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, on 11th Street near 18th Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

A few days later, I was called in to get photos after a double homicide happened late the previous night. There were a few police officers on scene by the time I arrived but again, I was pretty late getting there as I wasn’t called in until the morning.

oakley murder

Police work the scene of an overnight shooting that left two people dead Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, in the 700 block of Oakley Avenue in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM ©2015

Spot news seems to have calmed down for now, but there is still plenty keeping me busy.

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