• 3000 Degrees

  • The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It
  • By: Sean Flynn
  • Narrated by: Richard Rohan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (273 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On December 3, 1999, the call crackled in to the men of the Worchester, Massachusetts Fire Department: a three-alarm warehouse blaze in a six-story windowless colossus of brick and mortar.

Firefighters love the excitement of a "triple." But this was a different beast. Rollovers, flashovers, backdrafts, this one had it all. Once inside, they found themselves trapped in a snarling furnace of blazing orange heat as hot as a crematorium, with smoke so black and predatory they had to feel for their partners next to them. Swallowed deep in the building, with no way out, they struggled to survive an ill-fated ordeal that would push them to the very limits of loyalty and courage.

What happened next - and how their lives and community were changed forever - offers an unprecedented look at these heroic men whose job it is to rush into burning buildings when everyone else just wants out.

©2002 Sean Flynn (P)2002 Listen & Live Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Winner, Nonfiction (Unabridged) 2003

"[Among] books appearing this year about fires and firefighting...the best of the lot is Sean Flynn's 3000 Degrees." (Newsweek)
"Gripping prose...With confident, deft description, Flynn brings to life this 3000-degree catastrophe with a crackling intensity." (Publishers Weekly)
"A miracle of reporting...This story has the emotional power of the best narrative art." (American Society of Magazine Editors

What listeners say about 3000 Degrees

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

a book about a very heroic breed

This is more than the story of firefighters who lost their lives, it is a story about their lives. How they grew up, why they fight fires, the firefighter brotherhood and more.

Beyond the words, the narration was terrific and well paced.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Very good

This is a very good book with one exception.
It is well writen and read, however because we like to listen as a family I was disapointed in the inclusion of foul language in many quotes from the firemen. Not because I don't think that many use foul language, but that it detracts form the enjoyment of the listening experiece for this family.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating details

I was first introduced to this story in journalism school, when one of my favorite professors shared the magazine article that was the basis for this book as an example of tremendous reporting. I found the story so captivating, I just had to listen to this full-length version. This is top-notch narrative nonfiction, painting not just a picture of the horrific warehouse fire, but of the firemen who lost their lives and the families left behind in the aftermath of the tragedy. While the narration wasn't my favorite, it didn't detract from this compelling - and detailed - account.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Take an adventure into an inferno

Sean Flynn's book 3000 Degree's, about the Worchester, Mass Firemen who fought a against an enemy that seemed to only feed grow on men's fears and thier emotions was amazing. This Esquire article turned book, brings the ture story of the men who went in this building but did not make it home.

This book, unlike other stories, helps to bring the reader deep into the lives of the men who and the circumstances that took their life. Flynn's ability to help the reader or listener enter in the belly of this beast through the last minutes of their lives yet not over dramatize it is is refreshing.

Richard Rohan's narration of this book helps to add the perfect amount of emotion to the books as needed.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but not great

This is a high-energy tale about six fighters who die in a warehouse fire in Worcester, Mass. While it's hard to fault a writer for putting in too many details, this may be an exception. I think the details overpower this story -- almost as if the writer struggled to find enough material to stretch his story into 60,000 words. There's so much padding (and so many characters!), it's hard to focus on the six heroes and keep them straight. Occasionally, the dialogue seems silly and stilted.

It's a light, interesting read, but oddly doesn't create the emotional build up you would expect. I shed more tears hearing the television accounts.

Also, the wrong reader was chosen for this book. He fakes a Boston accent that ends up sounding more like a speech impediment. I've never heard anyone around here speak like that.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very realistic - unexpected

As a fire fighter, I expected this account to be a glorified account of another fire that took fire fighter lives. What I found was a captivating account that detailed the fire fighter lives at home and in the fire station, their attitudes, the excitement of the fire scene, the fire fight and the heartbreak of losing comrades and family. Although a fire fighter will understand exactly the descriptions of the fire and the fire scene, the author has described in detail so that the layman will also be able to paint the picture.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

dont bother

As someone involved in this incident I can tell you that there is alot more to this fire and situation than what he writes. Its an ok book and probably a good read but the reader in this case is awful. The fake Worcester accent is both silly and embarassing and the fake radio transmissions make it like a tv show. Dont bother listening to this on. If anything buy the book and read it yourself.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Right On

This was a fantastic book. The author did his homework on this one. I am a firefighter and he has it prefect. Station life. The whole works.I'm a seasoned vet and I had tears in my eyes. Great reading....(listening)

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Heroes All

Any additional comments?

An amazing historical recounting of the brave men who fought the fire at the Worcester Cold Storage, those who lost their lives and those who had to carry the burden of that loss for the rest of their lives. Very well written and read. My only criticism is in the editing, the actual fire fight is split in two parts, the second half coming first and the first half second! What's up with that? It made it very confusing to follow, a chronological telling would be much better. All in all, highly recommended if you're looking for the real 'Chicago Fire'.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Worst Nightmare

This is well written and takes into account real people for what they do and did. The heroism which takes place in this true to life story is inspiring to all who do the job day in day out. The realism which is described in the telling of the story is a spine chilling accounts of the men and their dedication to each other. This was great to listen too and a great story as well.

2 people found this helpful