Cover image for 3000 degrees : the true story of a deadly fire and the men who fought it
3000 degrees : the true story of a deadly fire and the men who fought it
Flynn, Sean, 1964-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
viii, 245 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TH9505.W9 F59 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The unforgettable and heartbreaking true story of the firemen who bravely fought "the perfect fire" is now in paperback.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

During the long night of December 3, 1999, a windowless, century-old storage building in downtown Worchester, Mass., was turned into a six-story stove. In gripping prose ("The smoke banked down like bolts of black velvet, heavy sheets curling and rolling and folding together"), Flynn describes how, once ignited, the deserted Worchester Cold Storage building must have been the perfect structure for a perfect fire. In a style similar to Sebastian Junger's, Flynn's chapters hustle from disastrous city fires that occurred earlier that summer, building tension and setting the scene for the final disaster in this tottering working-class New England town. With confident, deft description, Flynn brings to life this 3,000-degree catastrophe with a crackling intensity, which, unfortunately, he never quite achieves for the people within his story. The human element doesn't quite live up to what he presented in his first award-winning Esquire magazine piece that won notice for the survivors as well as the spouses and parents of the six firemen who were killed. Likewise, Flynn minimizes the subsequent police investigation and forensics that made national headlines for weeks after the fire. Nonetheless, the same work ethos that made New York City firemen and rescue companies run into the doomed World Trade Center towers is here in a smaller dimension but equally intense story of fire-fighting tragedy. Photos, blueprints and map not seen by PW. (Mar. 29) Forecast: With a large marketing campaign, Flynn's powerful drama, which has been optioned by Imagine Entertainment (the folks who did Backdraft), has the potential to sell well. Tales of firefighters are hot, but this title might be overshadowed by books on firefighters from September 11. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Narrated by Richard Rohan, 3000 Degrees is the compelling and true story of a four-alarm fire that took the lives of six dedicated and fearless firemen in Worcester, MA, on December 3, 1999. Flynn introduces many of the firemen and their families over several months leading up to the deadly blaze. What they all have in common is their compulsion to be firemen that obliterates the possibility of any other occupation. The danger, long shifts, and their wives and children form a backdrop against the brotherhood of firefighters. Surprising to anyone other than a fireman is the thrill, excitement, and downright yearning they have for a "triple" a three-alarm fire, dangerous and potentially life-threatening. The December 3 fire started out like most, as a single alarm call to the Worcester Cold Storage building, a 100-year-old abandoned, windowless warehouse. The tragedy of the firemen's deaths struck a chord across America that generated enough money to replace faulty radios and buy three thermal imagers, equipment that might have helped locate those disoriented men through the smoke. Recommended for all public library audio collections. Gloria Maxwell, Penn Valley Community Coll., Kansas City, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.