So, I'm going outside at 3AM to pop something in the mailbox, when I look up at the capitol building and say to myself: "Self, why is there a great big deck of fog blowing past the capitol?". After a moment of groggy contemplation, it occurs to me that that's probably not steam, it's smoke. Smoke from a... structure fire! Holy cow, a structure fire within walking distance!
No, the capitol building wasn't on fire (phew!) I hopped in my car with my camera gear, and drove down to 10th street, where an apartment building was pretty well engulfed. Slinging my tripod over my shoulder, I walked down to the fire. Neat thing about owning a big camera: everyone assumes you're shooting for media. :) (In this case, I ended up shooting for media, as we're running one of the shots in the newspaper here at work.) Fortunately, everyone got out of the building safely.
The most startling moment was when the house, which had been slowly filling with water, suddenly blew the front door right off it's hinges, nearly into the street. A tidal wave of water maybe 2 feet high came pouring out of the place, washing over the street. Wish I had shots of it, but I was busy running away, since I thought the entire building was coming down.
For what it's worth, any doubts I had about spending the extra money on the 2.8IS lens instead of the 4.0IS lens went out the window last night. The few telephoto shots that I took would have been nearly impossible at f/4, as I was already backed to the wall at 800 or 1600 ISO at 1/30th of a second or below. Here are some photos -- click any of them to enlarge in a new window.