Academic Scholarship


DK Publishing Co., Inc./Penguin Group, Inc., 2002

Photo Needed Jack A. Gottschalk
Department of Management

The struggle to tame fire began when humankind first harnessed flames to cook food, warm the environment and build tools. From the firefighting soldiers of the Roman empire to the bucket brigades of the Middle Ages and the high-technology equipment used by firefighters today, the battle to contain destructive fires has continued against a backdrop of cataclysmic fires that have shaped civilization itself. This work presents the fascinating in-depth stories behind great fires in world history, together with profiles of the people who fought fires or made them happen, and also traces the evolution of firefighting technology. Illustrated with more than 500 photographs that highlight key moments in fire history, the book covers everything from the Great Fire of London in 1666 - which caused untold damage to the city, but destroyed the plague-carrying rats and spurred the formation of the first fire insurance companies - the conflagrations in Colonial America that burned down young cities but led to improvements in fire engines and sprinkler systems. The book sheds light on devastating fires in hotels, factories, theatres, ships, schools, nightclubs and other public places - catalysts for fire codes and regulations that make our world safer today. "Firefighting" also covers the continuing fight against wildfires that consume billions of acres of land on almost every continent, disastrous building fires, and what happens when fire is used as a weapon of war. Also featured is a special section on what makes fires so deadly, including the physics behind backdrafts and flashovers, and how arson investigators approach a fire scene. In addition, there is an illustrated history of fire equipment, fire engines and firefighters' gear and a behind-the-scenes look at the training techniques used by today's cutting-edge firefighters.


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