Burning Down The House: Fighting Fires And Losing Myself
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Burning Down The House: Fighting Fires And Losing Myself

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Eight years as volunteer firefighter can turn following a dream into a nightmare. Physical dangers and psychological costs all add up. The author tried to save strangers in fires, medical calls, and automobile accidents - CPR on a colleague’s father, and a fuel explosion.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Thomas Allen & Son
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I just finished reading this book and it was enjoyable. Russell Wangersky details going into post-traumatic strees disorder and dealing with it afterwards. He wanted to ba a firefighter ever since he saw a little boy and when he was in his early twenties, the fire department was accepting people to volunteer there, and he decided to take the chance. He describes what it was like to be at scenes of burning buildings and house and car accidents, some of them involved some gruesome fatalaties. Some...more
Cumberland Public Libraries
An amazing memoir by Russell Wagnersky about his life as a volunteer firefighter in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Wagnersky recounts the toll it took on him and his life (he believes that it was a primary cause in his divorce) and he urges other first responders to get help when they need it. I admire his dedication to saving lives, both others and his own.
Recommended by Denise Corey, Chief Librarian
It was hard to finish this book .It kind of reminded me of myself. After having children , I would go over and over in my mind if I should done this with my kids or that . If they were out playing I could see them getting hurt or if i heard a car putting on their brakes I was scared to death .It took me along time to get over this and this book reminded me of this .Only now my kids are older I'm much better .
I always had respect for fire fighters but now even more so . This poor man should have...more
This book was hard to get through. It was a very realistic and well portrayed view of what firefighting does to the men and women who do it. The stories were very sad and tragic but funny and interesting too. Another reason I had trouble getting through this book, is I can relate to the trauma and it was a little too close to home. I really give Russell Wangersky alot of credit for doing such a good job of writing this book. Thanks for creating such a wonderful yet tragic picture of what helping...more
I took a "wild stab" at this book having picked it up at a discount book store. I am glad that I gambled with "Burning Down The House". It provides an intimate perspective on PTSD. Wangersky does a fantastic job of creating a picture of what it looks like to live and breathe with disorder. Very well written and i'm certain cathartic for the author.
Excellent writing and an interesting story. The author gives a good window into his experiences and feelings. Can be a bit slow/dragging at times and there was a bit of repetition, but that doesn't take too much away from the book overall.
I thought this was a good read. It was a glimpse into the mind of someone who does a very demanding job and it shows the effects it can have on your personal life and the lives of those around you.
Derek Warwick
This was a very good read aside from a few chapters that felt repetitive, stating things that had already been said. Gruesome at times. I felt the writing was very good most of the time.
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"Raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, .. his father was a professor of oceanography at Dalhousie University and his mother, a marine biologist, ran a tight ship.. Predilection for dangerous .. and explosions" led to "rugby at 16 -- gave it up two broken noses, three cracked ribs and six concussions later" at age 32. At Arcadia University, he was also "a volunteer firefighter in Wolfville.

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