The Hot Seat

Talk about being in the hot seat.
Fire has been playing way too large of a role in my life lately.
My hot streak began a few weeks back, when Circuit Judge Arthur Rusch issued a verdict in a case that has been haunting Yankton since April 2009. I’d been following the case on and off since the night that someone lit St. John’s Lutheran Church on fire. Authorities arrested a juvenile in connection with the incident in January, but it was only this month that the case ran its course. Ultimately, the boy was found not guilty.
Cut to Saturday. I had just finished shooting photos of smiling kids at the Yankton airport meeting Santa and receiving gifts. As I was heading to a local store to do some Christmas shopping, my phone rang. It was my editor telling me to get downtown because the Press & Dakotan building was on fire.
Fortunately, it was a minor incident caused by bad wiring. Given another half-hour, Deputy Fire Chief Larry Nickles said the fire could have turned into something potentially catastrophic.
I got that story written up and out of the way yesterday, and thought I was in the clear.
But then I spoke to Nickles on Monday and learned of an incident where a woman had a flare-up at a gas pump due to static electricity. Again, it was fortunately a minor incident.
Still, I’m hoping I can get through the year without covering another story involving fire.
I’m ready to cool my boots for the season.

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