|Screen Capture taken from October 12, 2015 on-line issue of the San Mateo Daily Journal*|
When I first saw the photo, I thought I was looking at two separate images. The junction between the side panels of truck and the chrome steel panel beside the control panel form a nearly unbroken line which sits on the half-way point between the left and right halves of the photo. This contributes to the "two photo" illusion. The effects could have been minimized by placing this juncture either to the left or right of center, preferably along one of the two vertical "rule of thirds" lines.
You can see the difference an on-camera fill flash can make. I can essentially ignore the shadows and expose the highlights for improved color saturation. The fill light puts light, and detail, back into the shadows at a level that compliments, but does not overpower, the highlights. If you look closely at the fireman's face, you can can see that the highlights on his forehead, while overexposed, are relatively small. The fill flash provides plenty of detail.
* I did not have access to the original image, so the quality has been severely compromised.