Braden Rathman has just achieved his childhood dream of becoming a firefighter, but a crazed arsonist, calling himself the Chicago Fire Man, is trying to destroy that dream by setting fires all over the city and it soon becomes clear that Braden is the true target.
While fighting fires 100-ton fire trucks that fly through the sky and hover like hummingbirds, GPS-linked blast shields, laser blades and a protective fireproof jacket that can do everything but put itself on, Braden must find out who is behind the string of fires before the mad man kills again.
“Should we go in, Chief?”
Just as the Chief was about to answer, heavy footsteps thudded from inside the house. The door squealed again and Heany appeared. His face was screwed up tightly and his mouth was just a slit.
“You guys better get in here and see this,” he said.
Quickly, Braden and the Chief went into the house, following Heany up the steep line of stairs that lay on the right. They went all the way up to the top floor, turned down a short hallway, and approached a room in the front of the house. Braden remembered it as Nick’s old bedroom. The two of them had played up there for many countless hours when they were kids. Through the doorway Braden saw police officers walking around as the room lit up with white flashes from a digital camera.
The stench grew more powerful; Braden had to breathe through his mouth to stop from gagging. They followed Heany’s huge body into the room. He pointed at the floor in front of the only window. Stan Winslow lay on his back; his eyes were unfocused and staring up at the ceiling in one of those blank, unfocused stares only a dead man had. His arms and legs were bent at the joints, rigor mortis, and he had a gun hanging off the index finger of his right hand. There was a bloody bullet hole in his right temple and no exit wound that Braden could see. A clear case of suicide. Next to Stan’s contorted body was a small black box. It had a flashing light and a switch on top.
“The remote detonator,” Heany said as he knelt down over it. “It’s been activated.”