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3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It
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3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It

4.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  275 Ratings  ·  38 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 ...more
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published March 29th 2002 by Warner Books (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 26, 2016 Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: journalism, fire
"The funny thing about firemen is...night and day, they're always firemen."
-- Donald Sutherland, Backdraft.

3000 Degrees is the story six firemen who died in a Worcester warehouse fire on December 3, 1999. The warehouse was a big, brick, windowless monster with a labyrinthine interior that was hard to navigate in daytime, sans fire. When it became dark, filled with smoke and flame, it was a death maze. The fire started after a vagrant fight knocked over a candle. The fire feasted on the interior
Dec 29, 2012 Cindy rated it liked it
The story of the Worcester Cold Storage fire in December 1999 - the author actually wrote an article about it for a magazine and later expanded it into this book. This fire took the lives of 6 firemen - 2 who were searching for possible victims and got lost/trapped in the building, and 4 more who went after them. This building was a deathtrap, the perfect fire box - insulated to hold in the heat, chemicals treating the walls, and lots of walls and false turns to confuse even the most seasoned fi ...more
Marcus Ellis
Dec 21, 2014 Marcus Ellis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing and deep book. Gives incredible detail and background of all the fire fighters and the families of the lost ones. Tells the story of the fire with immense detail and doesn't miss a single portion of the story. Really toches the heart and has the reader feel like they are at the scene. Amazingly well written and a great read for anyone.
Jan 13, 2016 SouthWestZippy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a sad book about heroes and not just the hero firefighters but the heroes left behind. It is so well written that you feel the emotions of all involved. Wish I could give this more than five stars. Synopsis 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, the ...more
Jordan Larsen
Feb 26, 2016 Jordan Larsen rated it it was amazing

I was fortunate to find this book on audio cassette back in 2002 and after listening to it numerous times since then, it’s still my favorite audiobook! “3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men who Fought It” is a gripping and engaging work of real-life literature that chronicles the lives of the firefighters, community and the families impacted by the tragic events of December 3rd 1999 in Worchester, Massachusetts. In what can only be described as the modern day firefighting e
Oct 09, 2015 Meredith rated it it was amazing
I thought I would have been way more emotional reading this book. perhaps it was because I didn't have time to get attached to the characters before they died. i always find it hard to keep track of a ton of people when they're all introduced at once. I cried once at the end from Denise being at the warehouse when they found Paul. good book
Jan 19, 2015 Brynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I was not expecting this book to be as interesting as it was. I don't really know that much about firemen or what its like to fight a fire. But reading this story helped me understand more about it. It starts with an introduction to some of the firemen and their families, what they do during their time off, etc. I liked this because made their lives more real to me, and made me care more about what would happen to them. The only problem was there were so many I couldn't remember who was who. The ...more
Aug 04, 2007 Al rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book hurt, I know John Sullivan from Engine 3 and could feel his anguish when he came out of the building and was looking for his 2 lost firefighters.
Tom Schulte
Jun 04, 2015 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is an outgrowth Esquire article on the Worcester, Massachusetts cold storage warehouse fire that tragically took the lives of six fireman. the look into the lives, motivations, and character of dedicated firemen becomes a paean to such working class heroes that includes soldiers and EMTs: men and women not paid enough to protect lives and property. the audio book includes effects to replicate phone and radio calls, making for a sort of audio play.
Apr 13, 2010 Eric_W rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to read about the technology of firefighting
Sean Flynn writes for Esquire and this is based partially on an article he wrote about the terrible fires suffered by Worcester, Massachusetts. The town has lost much of its industrial base and there were many abandoned buildings that were worth more from insurance claims than as empty buildings. It was not uncommon for engine companies to be called out to fires three to five times per night. Sometimes, the fire might be a prelude to the big one, a small fire just enough to set off the sprinkler ...more
Jun 29, 2008 Jann rated it it was amazing
I don't remember this story too well from when it actually happened and was in the newspaper. Had I known I was going to marry a firefighter, I probably would have paid closer attention.

A series of almost unavoidable, unintentional errors left the fire department with a crushing loss. The district manager and the men who were there will undoubtedly never forget it; it was their brothers who were lost. Modern firefighters will hopefully not forget it; some of the surviving men travel and lecture
Jack Walsh
May 08, 2013 Jack Walsh rated it it was amazing
As a blaze rages on in the factory as everyone else enjoys the beautiful night. The night was like any other night for all the firefighters on duty until they found out were the call was when the alarm rang through the fire house. In 3000 degrees by Sean Flynn a massive fire is ripping through an abandoned factory. This non fiction piece tells a heroic story of the brave men and women who fought the horrific blaze.

The quote really shows a meaning of brotherhood that all firefighters have. "Yet
Jun 11, 2011 Kristin rated it really liked it
I don't specifically remember this tragedy, though as I read the book, I had a vague recollection. Unfotunately, after 9/11 whenever I think of mass casualty firefighting events, the attack on the World Trade Center blocks out all of the others in my mind. Very similar to 9/11 was this fire in an abandoned meat processing plant in Worchester, MA. The firefighters went into the building without knowing what awaited them beyond the walls, with the intent to rescue anyone who may be trapped inside. ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Lori rated it it was amazing

I remember this fire and the hulking Worcester cold storage building that almost stood as a sentinel when coming into the City. All these years later I drive by and think how they sky line has changed as did the families of the 6 fire fighters from that night. And I'm not even related or know any of the families. This was one of those life moments that you remember where you were and what you were doing. I remember as soon as my shift ended at the Mall my family and I stood across from 290
Chad Simons
Jun 12, 2014 Chad Simons rated it it was amazing
I can't believe what the incident commander must have gone through to be in command of a fire where 6 of his men were lost.

Great book. Filled with leadership lessons. Tragic loss of life. All detailed in this book. I don't put many books on my "read this one again list". But this one is. Despite the horrible tales of firefighters dying, this was a great book.
Dec 13, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gripping account of a five-alarm fire in 1999 that killed six firefighters in Worcester, Massachusetts at an abandoned warehouse building, 3000 Degrees is a to-the-point tale of the men who fought the fire, the events leading up to the blaze, and, most interestingly, a look into the character of the station commander who oversaw a terrible disaster in a building he feared would go up.

The author does not dwell on too much outside detail, but instead competently covers the backgrounds of the fir
Anna Engel
Nov 11, 2013 Anna Engel rated it really liked it
Although it reads somewhat like a cleaned-up version of a human-interest piece for a magazine (which it was), "3000 Degrees" is the compelling true story of the firefighters in Worcester. After responding to a fire at the cold storage warehouse, six firemen are lost and later determined to have perished. Their families, other firefighters, and the town are devastated.

What struck me most was the unwavering commitment of the firefighters for each other and for anyone else who might still be in the
My husband grew up in Worcester, where this book takes place, and is obsessed with the work police and fire do. I'm rather surprised it took us both this long to read this, but I'm glad we finally did. Hubby, who's not a big reader, read this in less than a week & I finished it in one setting. We watched the news coverage non stop while this happened, and I was able to go to see the funeral procession, something I'll never forget.

This is the true story of the bad building, the fire that kill
Monty Allen
Jun 16, 2014 Monty Allen rated it really liked it
Solid book, not well-written. Fascinating story of the fire, but got a little lost in some of the extraneous detail in the back story of the firefighters. Good book, scary fire.
Aug 06, 2015 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sean Flynn takes you from the intensity of fighting a raging fire to the minds of the firefighters and the families who will bear the scars for a lifetime.
Dennis Martinek
Mar 01, 2015 Dennis Martinek rated it it was amazing
An incredible read...couldn't put it down, but it does force you to look at things in a different perspective.
Aug 28, 2015 Stephan rated it it was amazing
True story of heroism, and everyday life of Fire Fighting.
Eric Mccutcheon
Jun 17, 2014 Eric Mccutcheon rated it liked it
Quick read about a terrible fire. Lots of good personal detail about the men and their families.
Ben Vogel
Jan 13, 2011 Ben Vogel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well told story of a game-changing event in the fire service. The Worchester Cold Storage fire was quickly forgotten in the public eye after 9/11, but the lessons offered and the unsolvable truths revealed within that story have impacted how fires are managed ever since. The author strikes a good balance of telling a tale of the events, bringing forth the human sides of the story, while avoiding the overly melodramatic route that could have diminished the book in my view.
Feb 19, 2008 Hockeynut1977 rated it it was amazing
3000 degrees is the retelling of one of Worcester Massachusetts's most tragic fires. It sucks the readers into the tragedy that took place in a abandoned warehouse on December 3rd, 1999. This book will grip you and never let go from start to finish. This is the first book I ever read in just about 3 or 4 days.
Dave Gaston
At Wooster Cold Storage, a huge 12 brick thick windowless death trap caught on fire. Six brave firemen, in teams of two, were trapped inside overtaken by chemical laced smoke and incredible heat. Flynn does a excellent job of bringing the fire to life, but fails to exalt his hero’s to the same status.
Craig Walker
Oct 12, 2012 Craig Walker rated it it was amazing
A really good read not just for firefighters, but for everyone. This book doesn't just concern the fire, but also the lives of the firefighters before the blaze, and the after effects that the losses brought about with both brother firefighters, but also the families. Highly recommend.
Junior Greene
Jun 02, 2013 Junior Greene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book about the men and women who sacrifice their lives for people they don't even know. You will feel like your are one of the fire fighters, one of the rescuers, and one of the family. Very easy read, and will keep you captivated until the last page.
Sep 30, 2009 Craig rated it really liked it
This is a great account of the Worcester Cold Storage Building fire that took the lives of 6 firefighters. The author provides an excellent backdrop of the families and the brotherhood of firefighters. It is a quick read and worth picking up.
Amy Kannel
Sep 26, 2012 Amy Kannel rated it liked it
Shelves: history, firefighting
Swiped this one off my firefighter brother's bookshelf. Sobering and made me proud of my brother, and a little scared for him, too.
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