Synopses & Reviews
In the fading industrial city of Worcester, Massachusetts, there are men whose jobs are to brave danger, endure long shifts, and trust other men with their lives. Like their counterparts in cities and small towns everywhere, they are firefighters, and like firefighters everywhere, they take enormous pride in their brotherhood and their calling. On December 3, 1999, as the men of Central Street and other Worcester stations lived their daily lives, worked second jobs, and raised their children, they did not know an inferno unlike anything they had ever seen was about to put them to the ultimate test.
The fire at Worcester Cold Storage was ignited by two vagrants' Christmas candle. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, the building-a hulking, abandoned, windowless warehouse-was waiting to explode. As men fought to contain the flames with hoses, they were suddenly surrounded by confusing, suffocating darkness and searing steam. Worcester Cold Storage-with its mazelike layout and rooms so insulated that they prevented men from hearing each other's alarms-was turning into a furious beast, disorienting those inside it, seemingly determined to kill as many men as it could.
3000 DEGREES stands with the best works of American reportage. Sean Flynn takes us into the private lives of men heading inexorably into one sudden shared, overwhelming battle. He captures the agony of working wives and mothers hearing the news with mounting terror and a community being hurtled toward unbearable loss. Most of all, he vividly depicts the moments of truth, when ordinary men know that their brothers are going to die, and that to live with themselves, to take another single breath, they too must be prepared to lay down their lives.
"[G]ripping...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." Publishers Weekly
"A masterwork of reportage...in the tradition of The Perfect Storm...an un-putdownable narrative." Men's Journal
"Roaring pace and raw emotion...poignantly portrays the culture of firefighters, juxtaposing their understated heroism with their family-centered personal lives." The Boston Herald
"Reads like a dream albeit a fiery, deadly nightmare." Boston Magazine
"[Among] books appearing this year about fires and firefighting...the best of the lot is Sean Flynn's 3000 Degrees." Newsweek
"Incendiary suspense....Based on fact but written with the emotion of a novel." The Austin American-Statesman
About the Author
Sean Flynn writes regularly for Esquire and other magazines. His Esquire article "The Perfect Fire" won the National Magazine Award and was one of the most talked-about works of nonfiction of the year. He is the author of Boston D.A., an account of life inside a big-city district attorney's office.