The fire at Worcester Cold Storage was ignited by two vagrants' Christmas candle. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, the building-a hulking, abandoned, windowless warehouse-was waiting to explode. As men fought to contain the flames with hoses, they were suddenly surrounded by confusing, suffocating darkness and searing steam. Worcester Cold Storage-with its mazelike layout and rooms so insulated that they prevented men from hearing each other's alarms-was turning into a furious beast, disorienting those inside it, seemingly determined to kill as many men as it could.
3000 DEGREES stands with the best works of American reportage. Sean Flynn takes us into the private lives of men heading inexorably into one sudden shared, overwhelming battle. He captures the agony of working wives and mothers hearing the news with mounting terror and a community being hurtled toward unbearable loss. Most of all, he vividly depicts the moments of truth, when ordinary men know that their brothers are going to die, and that to live with themselves, to take another single breath, they too must be prepared to lay down their lives.