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After the Fire

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4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  517 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews

Every so often we encounter a story that makes us cry and makes us strong, that makes us want to hug our children and call our old friends. This bestselling book captures just such a drama in all its heartrending drama.

On January 19, 2000, a fire raged through a SetonHalldormitory, killing three students and injuring 58 others. Among the victims were Shawn Simons and Alva

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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 25th 2008 by Little, Brown & Company (first published July 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,076)
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Noelle (Pandora) Kukenas
The story of two incredibly brave young men who were burned terribly in the Seton Hall Fire of 2000. While parts of the story were difficult to get through (graphic descriptions of their treatments in the 'tank room' of the burn unit), I couldn't put the book down (except to work and really had no choice in the matter) and read the book in two days. Well written by a woman who documents details of the incredible journey these two young men traveled, including insight into the amazing and miracul ...more
Anna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeffrey
Jul 23, 2008 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival

In January of 2000, a fire spread throughout the freshman dorm at Seton Hall, killing three and burning scores of others. This book follows the recovery and turmoil caused to two roommates that were burned in that fire. The Boland Hall fire was set by two students for reasons still unknown and unclear. Yet, the book focuses on the recovery and friendship of Shaw and Alvaro, two roommates caught in the blaze.
The story is sad, yet uplifting
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Britni
Jun 18, 2011 Britni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are times in each of our lives that we'll never forget. The moment you found out about planes crashing into the World Trade Center, the day Princess Diana died, etc. The moments that you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing. After the Fire is about one of those moments for students at Seton Hall University in 2000 when a fire started in the middle of the night, killing three students and injuring a dozen others. After the Fire follows the true story of the struggles and ...more
Farrah
Apr 23, 2015 Farrah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a quick and easy read about something I knew nothing about (the Seton Hall dorm fire that killed three and injured about 50 others) but I'm not sure it needed to have an entire book written about it - seemed more suited like a long form magazine article. Also I thought the author was remiss in not including more about the perpetrators and the arson investigation. I will say though that it offered a lot of insight into what burn victims have to go through in their recovery process.
Coco
Aug 22, 2009 Coco rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really don't know why I didn't love this book. The other reviews are glowing and the story is certainly captivating, but for some reason, it just didn't grab me. It seemed like a surface reporting of the facts and didn't really delve down into the raw emotions. The characters were very black and white, reminiscent of a magazine or newspaper article. The book was interesting and the story, of a fire at Seton Hall's freshman dorm, is well chronicled. The friendship that grows between two of the ...more
Ari
May 11, 2010 Ari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
What a hard story to read, I really didn't realize what I was getting myself into. I saw this book recommended somewhere and put it on my to buy list and finally got around to getting it recently, but I didn't remember what it was about. It is the hard true story about two students who were severely burned by a dorm fire at Seton Hall. It was unbelievably painful to read, as it goes into detail about the treatments they go through, and so on. I found myself tearing up by page 14, and multiple ti ...more
Kirk Domenico
Oct 14, 2014 Kirk Domenico rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ίσως το καλύτερο βιβλίο που διάβασα φέτος .
Χρειάζεσαι όμως αντοχές για να το ζήσεις.
Aubrey
Apr 12, 2011 Aubrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This drew me in from the first pages and kept me reading compulsively. A horrifying dorm fire leaves two roommates burned, but not broken. Their friendship is strong and helps them both to heal.

Amazing details about surviving horrible burns, working in the burn unit of a hospital, and how a tragedy like this affects so many people.

You will want to buy an escape ladder and a fire extinguisher (or several) for your house after reading.
Heather
Jun 14, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This a very sad story, makes me think of a friend's brother who was a victim of a fire and what it must have been like for their family. Gives you new appreciation of what burn victims endure.
Rhonda
Jun 14, 2008 Rhonda marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended in the Rocky Mountain News as touted by the publicists at the recent BookExpo in Los Angeles.
Erin
Nov 17, 2008 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very quick, great read! Talk about some amazing boys.
Margaret Mechinus
Oct 21, 2014 Margaret Mechinus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this audio book in one day on a very long drive. Kept my attention. She covers all the aspects- the victims and their recovery, the burn center doctor and nurses, other patients at the burn center, burn treatment advances over the years, the police investigation into the fire, the emotional impact on the families, the girlfriends, the trial, the rehabilitation, and an epilogue. She didn't mention the financial impact on the families. Did the university help with that? She hinted at a ...more
Robyn Dones
Nov 19, 2009 Robyn Dones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read in 2008
Stuart Nachbar
Sep 16, 2008 Stuart Nachbar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Out of a Fire Two Men United

Robin Gaby Fisher’s After the Fire is a very moving story of two young men who escaped from a burning college dormitory at New Jersey’s Seton Hall University.

While the story does provide some investigative information into the cause of the fire, it is not meant to be a police procedural; it is a story of how these two men were treated as burn victims and how their families and friends came together around them. Both of the men profiled, Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos
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Robin Gaby
Sep 06, 2008 Robin Gaby rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
"After the Fire" debuts on the New York Times Best Seller list on Sept. 14th.

The Sept. 1 issue of People Magazine awarded "After the Fire" 4 out of 4 stars!


*STARRED REVIEW-Publisher’s Weekly. June 30, 2008
After the Fire: A True Story of Love and Survival Robin Gaby Fisher. Little, Brown, $24.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-316-06621-1

Three students died and 58 were injured in the January 2000 fire that arsonists set in the student lounge of Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Newark Star Ledger reporter F
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Cheryl
Sep 15, 2008 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival is based on true events. It is under sad and unfortunate events that this story comes about. The day was January 19th, 2000, a day that no one will ever forget. On this fateful day a fire spread throughout the freshman dormitory halls of Seton Hall University. The fire claimed young three lives and injured many more. Robin Gaby Fisher tells the story of two room mates Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos and the angels of Saint Barnabas Hospital, ...more
Connie
Feb 08, 2015 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
"I'm so ugly. What am I going to do?" A survivor of the Seton Hall University dormitory fire in January 2000 asked this in the course of his long and grueling recovery from horrendous burns. Three students died in the fire, and 54 were injured. Robin Gaby Fisher's telling in After the Fire, based on her Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporting for the Newark Star Ledger, is remarkable. I cried all through the book, the stories of two of the badly burned and surviving freshmen, Shawn Simons and Alvaro ...more
Alyson
Mar 31, 2012 Alyson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
This book was recommended to me by a man at the library in the audio book section. We were both looking for books and he said he and his wife had enjoyed listening to it. I appreciated his recommendation and found the story to be very uplifting. The story started immediately with the fire and then spent the rest of the book telling how Sean and Alfaro, roommates, overcame the fire.

Being burned sounds like one of the worst experiences that a person could have. Unlike other injuries, they will we
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Pam Herrmann
Sep 22, 2014 Pam Herrmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heartwarming book about friends who stick together even after surviving the fire in their dorm that nearly kills both of them. Three students died and more than 50 were injured. Nearly 7 years after the fire, two students were charged with arson after their prank went bad. Both served about half of their 5 year sentence. My heart goes out to the all the families affected.
Becki
This book covers the tragic fire at Seton Hall University in 2000, the investigation, and the lives that it touched. The book is primarily focused on roommates, Shawn and Alvaro, as they struggle to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally.\n\nIt was a good story. Easy read. Compellingly told.\n\nI was disappointed in the sexual aspect toward the end. :(
Jennifer Nelson
Riveting book about two survivors, Shawn and Alvaro, of the Seton Hall fire. Was amazed by the strength and determination of the survivors and even more so by the medical people who helped them get on the road to recovery. After reading this, anyone who works with burns in the medical profession has my utmost respect. There was a tiny section that featured content that didn't need to be there, but is easily skipped over.
Jess Melo
Nov 14, 2015 Jess Melo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written. The experience of the two burned, as well as the incredible nurse/doctor team that cared for them gave a whole new insight to burns. Its not one of those...you can't put down books, sometimes these are parts so upsetting I needed to. Its a great read
Kim
Nov 03, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Amazing story. Wonderfully written. Not too graphic but enough to get a feel for what these boys went through. I couldn't put it down. I got so attached to the boys and their team of doctors, nurses and P.T. It's been 12 years since the fire and they are working citizens with families.
That is not a spoiler b/c if you look on the front cover you see the two boys and on the front cover states (a true story of friendship and survival).
I don't give many 5 stars but this was a 10 in my book. It was
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Kathy
May 17, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The newspapers and the internet usually just tell the big stories. The Seton Hall fire was one of those stories. The papers told about the fire itself, the number who died and were injured and later about the trial of those who started it. This book tells the story of the two students with the worst burns. It is a dramatic story. The book depicts the horrors of burn recovery and the strength these boys had to endure it.
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Okay. Here goes.

A story of a college dorm fire and its aftermath. A story of two friends, A true story--so be prepared. I don't want to give away even so many details as the cover blurb did, so that is all I will say.

I will suggest that you read it rather than listen to it. Listening seemed to drag on and on and repeat itself a little too often--which is to say, a whole lot too often. Sometimes, I just wanted to skip to the end. But I applaud the author's attention to detail, and especially the
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Gail Rosen
A fabulous well told true story of the tragic Seton Hall University fire. But it wasn't depressing! It was inspiring and t I couldn't put this book down. I totally recommend reading After The Fire.
Carrie
Jul 06, 2010 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, favorites, 2010
I can't remember the last time I read an entire book all in one day. This was an amazing story about two boys who had to persevere to make it through a horrific event in their lives. The friendship these two had was incredible and those were the parts that made me tear up the most. While I found it difficult to read about all the details covering their treatment and the days following the fire, I still wanted to keep reading to find out how they make it and come out of it on the other side. Fish ...more
Sue
Oct 27, 2015 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible story of loyalty in friendship! What a horrific tragedy and yet these two young men are now doing very well with families of their own. This also gives you a look at the heartbreaking work the nurses in the burn units do.
Lynn McMillen
Feb 09, 2016 Lynn McMillen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very sobering look at 2 victims of a senseless fire at a college campus. Very raw---real emotions.
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New York Times Best Seller! 1 7 Sep 06, 2008 01:37PM  
STARRED REVIEW FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY! 1 7 Jul 02, 2008 11:42AM  
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Robin Gaby Fisher is a news feature writer for The Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey's largest daily newspaper. She specializes in telling stories about regular people living through extraordinary circumstances. She has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, in 2001 and 2005. She has been the recipient of the National Headliner Award and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard' ...more
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