• 02.07.13

Beauty From Ruin: See The Breaktaking Aftermath Of A Winter Fire

A Chicago warehouse fire in the dead of winter meant that the water used to fight fire quickly turned to ice, leaving behind accidental beauty.

Thankfully, there were no injuries in a recent Chicago warehouse fire, a massive blaze that left something unusual in its wake.


It was so cold in Chicago the night of the fire that much of the high-pressure water used to combat the flames froze almost instantly after hitting its mark. The ravaged building was coated with ice, stalactites, cotton candy bunches of packed snow, and twisty tendrils of the stuff that looks like how Zeus’s hair might have been braided. Thankfully, photographers Robert R. Gigliotti, David Schalliol, and Darek Szupina stopped by the day after the blaze to capture the aftermath in all its stately, ruined beauty.

Look through more images of it in the slide show above.

[Images: Chicago Tribune, Hat Tip: This Is Colossal]

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.