The first pictures started appearing online as the sun rose over New Braunfels on Friday morning — accompanied by a plume of black smoke from the fire that was burning at Wurstfest.
In the digital age where almost everyone has a camera with them at all times on their phone, the first images that often get released make their way across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and e-mail.
Friday’s fire was no exception.
People who happened to live or work near the fire site were the first ones who noticed the sight and smell of the smoke.
That was the case for Stephen and Donna Hanz who saw what would have been a beautiful sunrise blotted out by the thick black smoke that billowed out of the Wurstfest Marktplatz in a shot taken from their home.
Aimee K. also woke up to the Wurstfest fire and captured a shot across Landa Street as smoke climbed skyward with the Landmark building in the background.
There was a video from Ruben Orona, a closer look at the building in the early morning hours as crews from multiple fire departments across the area worked to contain the damage.
And then more photos and more videos from different angles and perspectives.
Jason Runyen caught the shot from a distance as two ladder trucks poured water onto the roof and shots of ducks swimming through the Comal River while non-toxic firefighting foam floated alongside.
Locals and people from all over the state used social media channels to issue shows of support for Wurstfest, the city and first responders.
Some with closer ties to Wurstfest made clear their determination.
“As a member of Wurstfest, an Opa, I’m sickened by what has happened. The years of hard work and dedication by generations of Opas went up in smoke today. But make no mistake, we are a resilient group,” Greg Dockery wrote on Facebook. “The flood of 98 didn’t deter us, and neither will this. We will rebuild bigger and better. Have faith. We have solid leadership, good insurance and good monetary management. Prost! Long live Wurstfest!”
That’s a sentiment shared by others.
“So sad to see this happen,” Lynn Walker Heatherly wrote. “I love the spirit of the Wurstfest folks to rebuild and persevere! And a huge thank you to the firefighters who battled this blaze! New Braunfels is a great community.”