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Cambridge neighborhood burns in 10 alarm fire

I was on assignment for the Boston Herald in East Boston photographing an airliner that had struck a flock of birds on departure from Boston’s Logan airport when the police scanner started cranking out reports of a fire in Cambridge. The Cambridge fire alarm dispatcher mentioned that they were “receiving’ calls” of fire on Berkshire St. I turned around to take a peek at the Boston skyline and there, in vivid tones, was the large smoke plume. I drove toward Cambridge, making it to a point approximately 1/4 mile away from the fire buildings. I decided to park there as to not get blocked in or congest the neighborhood any further. I ran up Cardinal Medeiros Way to York and then to York at Berkshire, to a point directly in front of the former church/converted apartment building that was now being consumed by the large fire volume. I stayed there for almost 90 minutes. Cambridge fire brass was great in allowing me to stay there as was the very friendly Cambridge Police dept. Here are some of my photos from ONLY the firefighting effort, as there was another Herald staffer, as well as reporters, who were roaming the outskirts searching for the other component of this story, the residents of the neighborhood. The fire damaged 18 buildings, destroying several of them. I will end with this. The Cambridge fire and police departments allowed me to stay in my safe perch very close to the fire. Thank you for allowing this. I was impressed (an understatement) by the professionalism and sensitivity of the Cambridge police, fire, and mutual aid fire departments in first fighting the fire, and second taking care of the victims. We are lucky to have these first responders!

How to help.

CLICK HERE —–> GoFundMe Link

Mayor’s Fire Relief Fund

Cambridge City Hall

Cambridge, MA 02139

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December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

December 3, 2016-Cambridge,MA. Cambridge and surrounding fire departments battle a ten alarm fire on and around Berkshire street, Saturday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel 

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I’m really proud to share this news. I placed 1st and 2nd in the prestigious AVIATION WEEK Magazine photo contest, with two Boston photos from Boston’s Logan International Airport.
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How to purchase my Boston photos as gifts

Thanks to my friends and supporters of my photography. Today I announce my 3rd annual Holiday/Christmas sale. Click here, purchasing site, where photos for personal use (wall art), or for commercial use, can be purchased. This is my non-news photo collection of lighthouse photos, Aviation photography, Boston scenics, including sunsets, moons, sunrise, coastal, etc.
Thank you, Mark
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A distraught man climbed onto a 4th floor ledge of a local college frat house today. He laid down in a precarious position for almost two hours as Boston police negotiators, EMS, and members of Boston fire’s Technical Rescue crew talked to him, listened to him, and gave him blankets and water until finally climbing onto the ledge and rescuing him. The incident happened at the corner of Hereford and Marlborough streets.

*I chose to publish these on my blog to show the teamwork and overall caring/human approach that the rescuers exhibited.

Holiday time can feel desperate, for many. If you are feeling desperate please call  Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

**I have blurred the young man’s face to keep his anonymity**

November 23, 2016-Boston,MA. Boston Police, Fire, and EMS personnel work to make comfortable, and then to eventually rescue, this distraught man threatening to jump from a ledge at the MIT Frat house at Commonwealth Ave., and Hereford St., Wednesday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

November 23, 2016-Boston,MA. Boston Police, Fire, and EMS personnel work to make comfortable, and then to eventually rescue, this distraught man threatening to jump from a ledge at the MIT Frat house at Commonwealth Ave., and Hereford St., Wednesday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

November 23, 2016-Boston,MA. Boston Police, Fire, and EMS personnel work to make comfortable, and then to eventually rescue, this distraught man threatening to jump from a ledge at the MIT Frat house at Commonwealth Ave., and Hereford St., Wednesday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

 

 

November 23, 2016-Boston,MA. Boston Police, Fire, and EMS personnel work to make comfortable, and then to eventually rescue, this distraught man threatening to jump from a ledge at the MIT Frat house at Commonwealth Ave., and Hereford St., Wednesday afternoon. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

 

 

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My Photos & Thoughts on the Deadly Boston Trench Collapse

While on the 7th hour of my Friday shift as a Boston Herald staff news photographer, I was summoned to  Beacon Hill for photo coverage of the Herald’s Home of the Week. I started that way from Melnea Cass Boulevard, near Northeastern University. While driving on Tremont St., approaching the traffic lights at Dartmouth St., I noticed the leading edge of what appeared to look like an ocean tide encroaching on a beach. This torrent of water, rolling down Dartmouth St., was quite strong. There was no audio from my police/fire radios regarding an event/emergency of this type, but I stopped anyway thinking this was newsworthy and might make for interesting photos.  I parked, still thinking that I was going to photograph a short-lived apparent water main break. It was then that I heard police sirens. I started to take photos, but when I came upon the scene something seemed different. A police sergeant told me to leave the street, and the faces of workers, neighbors, police, and shortly thereafter Boston firefighters, told a story of anguish and deep concern. It was shortly thereafter that I learned that one, and then another worker was presumed trapped. Steve Smith, a construction laborer working close by, and who was on a break when he heard screaming, sprung into action as he tried to reach the trapped workers. He tried to enter the hole but dangerous conditions forced him back. I retreated to the sidewalk and watched, then photographed, as he was reaching into the water to attempt to find the street plates covering part of the trench. On his hands and knees he finally found the part of the heavy plates where a chain can be affixed, to then lift with a backhoe. Smith seemed to pause for a split second, as exhaustion and grief overwhelmed him. Boston firefighters used sticks with hooks on the end to try and hook the workers, but to no avail. A very sad day. My photos appeared on page one and inside the October 22, 2016 issue of the Boston Herald.

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October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. A stunned Mirtha Colon, a resident of 10 Dartmouth St. apt B, watches firefighters scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed two workers Friday afternoon on Boston's Dartmouth street. CREDIT Boston Herald staff photo by Mark Garfinkel. NO BOSTON (Boston OUT) No sales No Mags

A stunned Mirtha Colon, a resident of 10 Dartmouth St. apt B, watches firefighters scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed two workers Friday afternoon on Boston’s Dartmouth street.

October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed 2 workers on Boston's Dartmouth street, Friday afternoon. CREDIT Boston Herald staff photo by Mark Garfinkel. NO BOSTON (Boston OUT) No sales No Mags

October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed 2 workers on Boston's Dartmouth street, Friday afternoon. CREDIT Boston Herald staff photo by Mark Garfinkel. NO BOSTON (Boston OUT) No sales No Mags

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October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters and workers scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed at least one worker and injured another Friday afternoon on Dartmouth street.. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

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October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters and workers scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed at least one worker and injured another Friday afternoon on Dartmouth street.. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

October 21, 2016-Boston,MA. Firefighters and workers scurry into position in the first moments after a trench collapse and water leak killed at least one worker and injured another Friday afternoon on Dartmouth street.. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

 

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I have received a ton of interest in this photo. Kind of a funny moment in 1997, as New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft drives then head-coach-seeking Bill Belichick away from a hoard of waiting media members.
Information to purchase print(s)

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Gisele Bundchen, helicopter pilot.

Gisele Bundchen.
Some know her as a supermodel, others as the wife of New England Patriot QB Tom Brady, or as a super mom. She has been a champion for the environment, and a spokesperson for the United Nations, and the Brazil olympics. 7 years ago today I knew her as an aspiring helicopter pilot, 6 months pregnant. Good for her, she can do anything. September 21, 2009, a day that most surely will be etched in my mind forever. I arrived at Marshfield Airport at 6am and waited and hoped, on a tip, that Gisele would be flying a helicopter with flight instructor Stuart Matsumoto.  All of a sudden, there she was and away she went. Gisele and Stuart stayed up for almost 2 hours before gliding the craft to a perfect landing.

(09/21/09-Marshfield,MA) Gisele Bundchen takes flying lessons today.. After flying, the pilot came over to a cameraman and said: "She (Gisele) is testing a new and cleaner fuel as part of her UN Goodwill ambassadorship, more will come out at a later date" Photos: Mark Edwards. NO BOSTON SALES

(09/18/09-Boston,MA) The 2nd Annual, Running of the Beds" competition pitting Boston's waterfront area hotels against each other. This is run in honor of International Housekeeping Week. Here, Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

(09/18/09-Boston,MA) The 2nd Annual, Running of the Beds" competition pitting Boston's waterfront area hotels against each other. This is run in honor of International Housekeeping Week. Here, Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

(09/21/09-Marshfield,MA) Gisele Bundchen takes flying lessons today.. After flying, the pilot came over to a cameraman and said: "She (Gisele) is testing a new and cleaner fuel as part of her UN Goodwill ambassadorship, more will come out at a later date" Photos: Mark Edwards. NO BOSTON SALES

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Early morning lightning over Boston’s Graves Light.

I tried to photograph lightning late last night during the first and second waves of some pretty hefty thunderstorms. Things did not go as planned, as the lightning became too unpredictable, thus too dangerous. I did get a shot of lightning over the city of Boston, from my perch along the Winthrop coastline. Dejected, I went home and then to bed. Just prior to bed, the weather radar on my trusty iPhone app., was showing a line of heavy storms bubbling-up near the Connecticut/Rhode Island border. These storms appeared to be growing and moving toward Boston. I was too tired and dejected to wait for them, so I wait to bed. Ninety minutes later, at approximately 2:30am, I was awakened by thunder. I noticed that the frequency of the lightning was impressive, with maybe 1 lightning bolt per every 5 seconds. I headed out again but was a bit too late, as I needed some time to get set up (with a tripod, etc,) and to get to my position (trying for a city of Boston skyline foreground). This storm was too fast and the heavy rain, as well, was not helping matters. Finally, thinking the storm was over, it was time to get home and go to bed. Then, my weather app. pointed to some regeneration of the lightning at the tail end, the Southwest end, of the storm. I set up my tripod, Canon EOS 1DX, cable release, and Canon 100-400mm II lens, setting it at 248mm, along the coast of Winthrop. I set the ISO to 50, and my exposure was 5 seconds at F5.6. I do not ever like to “fudge” a photo, so whenever the first burst happens, I then shutdown the camera, thus keeping it real with the one moment of impact. I pointed the camera toward Graves Light lighthouse, and I waited, and waited. Finally, at 3:18am this morning, four large lightning bolts, during a split-second cloudburst, appeared over the Boston Harbor landmark. This photo is almost full frame, as I cropped in from both sides and a little from the top. I have a bit of a too-tight scenario happening at the base of the photo because it was hard for me to tell where the lighthouse and horizon lines were due to the extreme darkness. I was happy nonetheless. Thanks for viewing my site.

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I was planning on photographing the moon over Boston Light Wednesday night. Below is the finished product with 3 other photos I shot last night. The moon hid behind haze and clouds for the first several minutes, disrupting my plans to get the moon directly behind the lighthouse. This (below) is the moon at during the first moments that the moon was visible, unfortunately. It just go to show that the best plans are still at the mercy of nature. Very frustrating. When it finally popped up, it was a bit too high for my liking. I will try again to get the pleasing photo that I have been trying for. Prior to the moon shot, I photographed the sun, which was a hot, hazy ball as it was setting over the Tobin Bridge. I also photographed two high altitude planes. I shot all these at Deer Island using a Canon 800mm lens, carried on my back as I rode my bike. HEAVY, for sure. Below the sun and moon photos, are photos of some of the preparations that I needed.
Thanks for viewing, and if this is your first time here, please follow me on Twitter and Instagram @pictureboston.

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Firefighter David Atherton did not die in the line of duty. That fact didn’t matter this morning to his fellow Stoneham firefighters and his brothers and sisters at the Boston Fire Dept., as they saluted and escorted his body from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Atherton was accidentally shot and killed by a lifelong friend. See that Boston Herald story here.

07/01/2016-Boston,MA. Stoneham firefighters salute as the body of fellow town firefighter David Atherton leaves the Boston office of the Chief Medical Examiner Friday morning. Atherton was shot and killed while off duty earlier this week. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel.

07/01/2016-Boston,MA. Stoneham firefighters salute as the body of fellow town firefighter David Atherton leaves the Boston office of the Chief Medical Examiner Friday morning. Atherton was shot and killed while off duty earlier this week.

07/01/2016-Boston,MA. Boston firefighters salute as the body of Stoneham firefighter David Atherton leaves the Boston office of the Chief Medical Examiner Friday morning. Atherton was shot and killed while off duty earlier this week. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel.

07/01/2016-Boston,MA. Boston firefighters salute as the body of Stoneham firefighter David Atherton leaves the Boston office of the Chief Medical Examiner Friday morning. Atherton was shot and killed while off duty earlier this week.

 

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