Fires!: True Stories from the Edge


106 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55037-876-7
DDC j363.37'09





Christine Linge MacDonald, a past director of the Toronto & District
Parent Co-operative Preschool Corporation and a freelance writer, is an
elementary-school teacher in Whitby.


These “true stories from the edge” not only relate the factual
details of 10 of history’s most dramatic fires, they also convey the
emotional stress and excitement of the events. From famous fires
(Chicago in 1871) to nuclear meltdowns (Chernobyl in 1986) to ecological
disasters (Indonesia’s jungle fire of 1997), Kyi travels through time
and geography to recount our worst encounters with this destructive
element. In her introduction, Kyi deepens the impact of the stories by
awakening the reader’s memories of respect for and fear of fire: the
myths of Prometheus and the South American Jaguar, the burning of Moscow
to prevent it from being “polluted” by the invading French, the
development of dedicated firefighting equipment in the face of deadly

Kyi asks the reader to “stop to imagine the blinding flames, the
choking smoke, and the waves of heat.” By describing the events from
the point of view of actual survivors, she brings the reader into a
personal experience of the events, preparing the reader to answer her
question: “What would you have done?” Recommended.


Kyi, Tanya Lloyd., “Fires!: True Stories from the Edge,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,