Fire Department met its Second Avenue challenge
The Second Avenue Southeast fire that brought out Decatur's biggest weapons Sunday morning could have wiped out everything on the west side between Johnston and Grant streets.
If the fire had not been spotted until later...
If the wind had been up...
If the firewalls hadn't held...
Fire Chief Charlie Johnson added another if to the list. If the city hadn't recently purchased a second ladder truck that allowed his firefighters to attack the three-story blaze in the century-old building from front and back.
The fire took out a popular gathering place, The Brick Deli, on the lower level and two shops on the Second Avenue level and threatened apartments on the third floor of an adjacent building.
As bad and as tragic as the fire was, it could have been worse. People sleeping in the upper level apartments could have died.
That the fire wasn't worse primarily is because of the department's professionalism and equipment.
The City Council's praise for the department at a Monday night meeting certainly was appropriate.