Fiction on Fire

The purpose of this page is to provide a collection of FICTION written by FIREFIGHTERS about FIREFIGHTERS. In other words, firefighting novels written by firefighters. The list is in no particular order, as books/authors will be added as I come across them. If you know of any not on the list, shoot me an email or leave a comment and let me know. Also, if you are a firefighter who has written a novel, please say hello so I can be sure to mention it on my Facebook page. 


Chicago 1871 by James E. Merl. This award winning book combines my two passions; the fire service and history! Imagine….a modern day firefighter goes back in time to the days of leather helmets and leather lungs. Not to mention horses! It is chock full of historical tidbits about eating smoke back in the day. You can find it here or you can order a signed copy from the author for a great price here. I will add that James was a big help to me as I navigated the slings and arrows of the publication process. If you liked my book, then I guarantee that you’ll like his!


Beneath the Flames by Gregory Renz. This stunning debut novel, also an award winner, was released this summer. Check out my review of it here. This book truly captures what it is like to work in a busy urban department. The highs along with the devastating lows. Little wonder, as the author is a retired captain from Milwaukee FD. I would say this should be mandatory reading for anyone contemplating a career in the fire service, and for those of us active or retired, it will remind you of all the characters you came across on the job. So hurry up and click here to order your copy today! This book is a fine tribue to those who face the flames.


So Others May Live by Lee Hutch. Winner of the Adventure: War & Military category of the American Fiction Awards, this novel explores what it meant to be a firefighter in Berlin during World War 2. The juxtaposition of those whose job it is to save lives on behalf of a regime bent upon destroying them is at the heart of this story. The German fire service during the War is a little explored subject, and this book will interest those who are interested in World War Two along with those who enjoy a bit of fire service history. You can find a copy here. Or check back for updates as an audiobook will be out soon!


Fires of Time by Barry Wilson. I’ve owned a copy of this book for many years, having purchased it back when I was on the job. It involves the tale of a modern day firefighter/paramedic whose neighbor invents a time machine. Naturally, like most firefighters, he decides to get the neighbor to send him back to see some major conflagrations from the past, specifically the Great Chicago Fire and the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. One of the more interesting bits for me was to read about how useful a modern day paramedic would be to an injured party 100 years ago!


Vertical Burn (and many more) by Earl Emerson. Earl is the Godfather of the Firefighter Fiction Mafia. His books have been nominated for Edgar Awards and he has won the Shamus Awards. One series he wrote which includes Vertical Burn concerns the fire service. Earl draws from his 32 years with the Seattle Fire Department to write authentic novels about the job. So if you like mystery/thrillers, then check out the series which begins with this book.