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November 7, 2012

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Here's the real story behind the fire photo

A BLAZE without casualties may not seem particularly news-worthy, especially in a city which seems to smolder with fires daily. But the real story here is how Shanghai Daily managed to get photos of four streetside eatery stalls that were gutted in a morning fire in downtown Huangpu District.

Shanghai Daily photographer Wang Rongjiang came across the fire scene while wandering along downtown streets, looking for some news, about 10am yesterday.

The fire had been put off by the time Wang arrived, leaving only smoking debris and crowds of onlookers. Having missed out on the actual burning scene, Wang got to work, taking photos of the soot-covered remains.

One of the onlookers then approached him. "Do you want photos of the fire?" the man asked Wang, taking a closer look at his professional camera. "I think you might need them."

"Yes, of course!" the photographer replied. "You have one?"

The 30-something man, named Zhou Qin, said he had witnessed the whole fire scene.

Following Zhou to his rented home at the back of the lane where the fire had blazed some hours earlier, Wang copied the photos Zhou had clicked. Business cards were also exchanged.

Zhou, from neighboring Jiangsu Province, has been living in the city for about five to six years and is a tailor by profession.

Apart from using his rented home as a workshop, Zhou also runs a stall at the shopping arena at Metro Line 2's Science and Technology Museum Station.

Asked whether he wanted to be paid for the pictures, Zhou said, "Just come to my store if you want to stitch clothes or bring your friends."


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