Stories within the FIRE category are listed below. Please read and vote a star value out of five (5 being high).

Voting has closed for this category. Vote for the overall winner here.


Layers by Vivienne Bailey

Pile upon pile. Blue jeans, denim-hard and crunchy. A red sweater, unravelling. Trackies, black-fleeced.
Add silver trainers, white-laced.
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Getting To Know The Neighbours by Charlotte Chadwick

The flames are impressive. So is the array of sleeping garb on display. I have my pyjamas from Millers (still in excellent condition) but others seem to don any old shabby ensemble.
Apparently all tenants are accounted for, which makes me wonder where the husband of
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7 a.m. by Tiff Stewart

7 a.m., January 1st, 2016.
Calm: “Are the neighbours still on holiday?”
Sleepy: “Ugh… what time is it… ugh. Yup, yup they are. Why?”
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Snatched from the Jaws of Death by Jacqueline MacDonald

The screeching wail of buckling metal and the drone of machinery. Urgent, murmuring voices. And barely audible beneath the cacophony, the metronomic tick-tock of the indicator.
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Low Country Blaze by Jeff Taylor

“111. What’s your emergency?”
“I need to report a fire.”
“Okay then sir. What’s your address?”
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Stuck! by Mags Ross

Thunder crashed above. Lightning lit up the sky. The rain battered down. Trees bending in the howling wind.
And she was stuck up there. My rescue kitten and already one of our family. A wee grey
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Smoke and Dust by Jacqueline MacDonald

A sudden, shuddering jolt. Searing heat. An echoing boom. Concrete columns cleaving and crumbling to dust. Steel reinforcements twisting and screeching. Beams bending and buckling. Splitting, rupturing floor tiles. The heave, the rumble, and the sickening drop.
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Clock Watching by Jacqueline MacDonald

He glanced at the monitor’s clock again. Still twenty minutes until shift’s end. The morning had been uneventful, seconds stretching endlessly rather than ticking by.
He surveyed the room. Banks of identical desks. Grey partitions exposing only the tops of
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A Spark by Sarah Nutbrown

It started with a spark. A solitary spark that was spat out, tumbling over the grate and landing on the carpet. A carpet that had been there for 30 years. Feet had trampled it, the sun had faded it but it had prevailed, a reminder of bygone days. The spark had no respect
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Starter Fire by Lyndelle McCabe Gibara

It was Frank’s first fire and he was exhilarated. After training and waiting nearly three months to see some action, he’d finally hit the jackpot. This fire was huge all right!
Back at the station, over a cuppa, there was a debrief by the fire investigator.
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Drought by Nikki Crutchley

I present the box of matches sitting in the palm of my hand. The others crowd around, sly smiles on their faces.
We all know playing with matches is taboo, especially in a town that hasn’t had rain for a
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Fire Starter by Mary Little

**Call received 9:43pm, Thursday 19 May 2016**
Dispatch Operator: 111 emergency. Fire, ambulance, or police?
Caller (muffled): I’m the trouble starter.
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Firing Line by Stephen Press

“No fire without a smoke,” coughed Sam, lighting up.
“That never gets funny,” said Pete, eyeing Sam’s shaking shoulders with mild alarm.
“I can’t believe you still smoke in this day and age. Don’t the brigade discourage it now
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