Just before midnight last night, I heard what I thought were firecrackers and looked over to our windows and saw the orange glow with intermittent blue flashes. Apparently the flashes were power transformers blowing up. The fire started in the back of the mill nearest the river and after about an hour it seemed the entire structure was ablaze. Consider that this is a 4 story, 750,000 sq.ft. structure built in 1900, so each floor was about 15-20' in height. All of the floors were hardwood, so essentially everything that wasn't exterior brick was wooden beams - read 'kindling'.
I've never seen a fire on this scale before, and it was very surreal. It literally roared and hissed. By the time it ran the length of the building and made it to the front on 1st Ave., I went out to the street near the Riverwalk access point and it was raining embers on me. Some were still flaming, and landed on the houses across the street. THAT was really insane looking.
After lunch I'm going to walk down and get more pictures before the cranes come in to take down the brickwork and will post them later. More pics behind the cut, mine are annotated and the rest are from news services.
This was the first picture I took from our parking lot.
This was the view from our windows at 3AM.