Winner of the 2009 British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, short-listed for the 2008 Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize
Thousands of boys dream of becoming firefighters. Some get the chance, and for some of those, the dream becomes a nightmare.Burning Down the House is the story of Wangersky’s eight-year career as a volunteer firefighter, an experience that wound up reaching into every facet of his life and changed the way he saw the world forever. Written in vibrant, luminous prose, the book traces his years from rookie to veteran firefighter and the toll it took on his personal life. Offering a rare glimpse into physical dangers and psychological costs of trying to save strangers’ lives, Wangersky paints a harrowing and sometimes heartbreakingly vivid portrait of the fires, medical calls, and automobile accidents that are the standard fare of the profession.
Visceral and affecting, Burning Down the House is an insightful insider’s account of the perilous world of firefighting and an unforgettable memoir of how, in finding his passion, Wangersky lost himself.