Thursday, April 4, 2013

Arson, Firefighters, & Emerson's Vertical Burn

We've covered police. How about firefighters?

Here's yesterday's BBC article "Virginia 'serial arsonists' suspected of 77 blazes:"
A former volunteer fireman and his girlfriend are due in court accused of scores of arson attacks on the coast of the state of Virginia, police say. 
Charles Smith, 38, and Tonya Bundick, 40, were arrested on Tuesday morning, after a vacant house was set on fire. A police spokeswoman said each of the pair face one count of arson and one count of conspiracy over Monday's blaze, but more charges would follow. 
All the fires burned empty structures. No injuries have been reported. 
The couple are accused of setting most of the 77 fires that have been set on the Eastern Shore since November.

For a novel about arson and firefighters, try Vertical Burn by Earl Emerson:
Six months after firefighter John Finney fought his way out of a burning Seattle warehouse to get help, no one remembers him giving the directions that pinpointed his partner’s position inside. No one can remember anything about Finney except that he left his friend to die. 
But Finney doesn’t believe the fire was an accident. And he doesn’t believe the campaign against him is one either. 
Trying to reconstruct the events from that tragic day, Finney uncovers suspicious actions by men at the scene. With only one person on his side—a female firefighter who is herself an outcast in the department—Finney begins to piece together an astounding conspiracy that will turn friends into suspects and every man inside the department into a potentially deadly enemy. And the most horrific fire is yet to burn.


  1. You might also takea look at Seven Two: A Firefighter's Story, a novel that brings the protagonist, a firefighter, into a confrontation with the former and now indicted president of Penn State University, Graham Spanier. "A first-rate story of civilization and its discontents, by a master writer." -- William Howarth, Princeton.

  2. For example, someone who gets promoted to lieutenant has a yearly pay check of $55,848 while a captain earns $65,163. A battalion chief, on the other hand, has a medial annual pay of $75,281. Click here