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4.4 109
by Eric Wilson

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Growing up, his wife Catherine always dreamed of amrryuing a loving, brave firefighter...just like her father. Now, after seven years of marriage, she wonders when she stopped being "good enough." Countless arguments and anger have them wanting to move on to something with more sparks.

As they prepare for divorce, Caleb's father challenges him to commit to a 40-day


Growing up, his wife Catherine always dreamed of amrryuing a loving, brave firefighter...just like her father. Now, after seven years of marriage, she wonders when she stopped being "good enough." Countless arguments and anger have them wanting to move on to something with more sparks.

As they prepare for divorce, Caleb's father challenges him to commit to a 40-day experiment: "The Love Dare." Wondering if it's even worth the effort, Caleb agrees, for his father's sake more than for his amrriage.

Surprised by what he discovers about the meaning of love, Caleb realizes that his wife and marraige are worth fighting for. His job is to rescue others. Now Captain Holt is ready to face his toughest job ever...rescuing his wife's heart.

Complete with action, humor, and romance, this entertaining novel by Eric Wilson will have you laughing, inspired, and challenged. Based on the screenplay by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, the Fireproof novel includes subplots, characters, and back story not included in the movie.

Includes Bonus Features:

  • Discussion Group Guide
  • The Making of Fireproof
  • Production Photos
  • A Special Message from Alex & Stephen Kendrick
  • Product Details

    Center Point Large Print
    Publication date:
    Edition description:
    Large Print Edition
    Product dimensions:
    5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)

    Read an Excerpt



    Thomas Nelson

    Copyright © 2008 Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick
    All right reserved.

    ISBN: 978-1-4185-6672-2

    Chapter One

    Dense smoke stretched between aisles of canned goods and wrapped its fingers around Captain Campbell's upright body. He tried to remain calm. He could see no farther than his leather gloves as he aimed the fire hose into blackness that pulsed with an eerie glow.

    Snaking through aisles and licking along the ceiling, the grocery store's inferno seemed infused with a personal evil. It wasn't the first time Campbell had thought such a thing. Other firefighters had been known to say the same.

    He told himself to take steady breaths. To stay focused.

    No easy task.

    The call had come into the station at 9:49 p.m. The locally owned store was getting ready to close its doors, and most of the shoppers had left. The main concern, as expressed by a cashier, was the safety of an assistant manager last seen heading to the back office.

    The conflagration was spreading quickly now, seeming to rise from separate sections of the store and demanding the attention of all emergency personnel. Crews from three different stations had been sent to the scene. Campbell and his partner had entered the fray a half hour ago, with the rescue of human lives priority number one.

    Stores could be rebuilt and inventory replaced, but nothing could bring back the dead.

    "Tynes," Campbell called out. "Tynes, you there?"

    His partner was nowhere to be seen. It was possible the man had followed the hose line back outside, in danger of depleting his composite tank. Or he might've tried skirting the inferno, in search of the missing manager.

    Either way, he should have said something, but Tynes was only in his second year and even the best made mistakes.

    A fact the captain knew well.

    Though Capt. Eddie Campbell had been part of the firefighting brotherhood since the late 1960s, with numerous awards and honors to his name, he had already managed to lose his two-way radio this evening, somewhere between the market's front doors and his present location. Maybe caught it on a shelf. Or dropped it while coupling two hoses.

    He was on his own, that's all he knew-cut off from all communication.

    The fire, meanwhile, seemed nowhere close to giving up the fight, and the captain stayed firmly planted. Although the quivering hose at his fingertips gave him some reassurance, impenetrable billows continued to close in around him. He felt like a rat in the coils of a boa constrictor.

    Steady breaths. Steady.

    But he couldn't maintain this position forever.

    He called his partner's name a few more times, to no avail. His voice was muted by the mask, and if he called out much more, he would risk losing the precious air in his thirty-five-pound canister.

    From his back, several high-pitched beeps sounded in rapid succession.

    Could that be right? He peered through the sweat-streaked face guard, squinting to read the dial on his Type 2 SCBA self-contained breathing apparatus.

    Was he really that low? The alarm meant he had five minutes max, and then he'd be sucking fumes. The majority of fire fatalities were due to smoke inhalation, and if he didn't find his way out shortly, he would be in deep trouble.

    Time to get going. He'd just follow the line back.

    He felt his heart rate settle as he eased off the nozzle's water pressure, turned carefully in his gear, and slipped to his knees.

    This was routine. He had a plan to follow, a goal in mind.

    Campbell started crawling. At fifty-five years of age, he took pride in his physical condition. He moved hand over hand along the hose, knowing that it would guide him back to safety and fresh air. He wasn't done fighting this fire. He'd come back. But he'd be no good to anyone if he were passed out and unconscious on the floor.

    His gloved knuckles knocked aside a can of Hormel chili and a box of taco shells. His right knee slipped on a water slick.

    How far had he gone-twenty feet, thirty?

    A single hose length was fifty feet long, and he and Tynes had been working with two in tandem. That meant it would take another minute or so to get out the door. In all this gear, progress was tedious, but he'd make it if he just kept moving.

    Yes, just ahead was his proof. See there? Yellow and red bursts were prying at the smoke, and he realized he must be near the store's front windows. These had to be the fire engine's emergency lights rotating against the glass.

    And was that clean air he tasted?

    Just in time.

    Something was wrong, though. Not only was his tank nearly empty, but the temperature was rising. Things were getting hotter with each knee forward.

    "Oh no," Campbell said.

    The words hung ominously in the mask. He saw now that he was looking at flames, not emergency lights, which meant he had veered off in the wrong direction. How could he have gotten this far off? He'd been following the line, switching from one hand to the other as he shifted along the floor.

    The hose-

    But no, this wasn't a hose he had gripped in his fingers. It was a pipe.

    That couldn't be right. A pipe?

    He must've switched over onto an irrigation system that ran along the floor to the produce section. How could he have been so foolish? Despite his tenure as a firefighter, he'd let circumstances blur his focus on the details.

    Captain Campbell was breathing heavily as he turned back around. He had to keep his senses about him. The store was shrouded in darkness, and the only safe route was to backtrack to the point where he had erred.

    He feared for his life. Would he make it out of here? Would he ever see his wife and daughter again? Joy and Catherine were his world.

    Joy ...

    After twenty-six years, they were still together. She was a gentle soul, and she'd spent more than a few restless nights during the course of his career. No doubt about that.

    Catherine ...

    She was eighteen, almost nineteen, a bright and vivacious daughter with a streak of independence-some would call it bullheadedness-a trait inherited from her father.

    Spurred by these thoughts, Campbell pulled himself onward through the store's suffocating environs. His pulse throbbed in his fingers, but he tried to stay attentive to each change in shape or texture along the pipe.

    The hose had to be here somewhere. His only way out.

    He kept crawling, even as a memory of three-year-old Catherine played through his mind ...

    CAPTAIN CAMPBELL STANDS just outside her bedroom door and sees shelves of toys and stuffed animals along the wall. A teddy bear has its head and arm wrapped in gauze. A tea set and a wooden fire truck crouch beneath a sign that reads "Daddy's little girl."

    He hears giggling as Joy says good night to young Catherine.

    "All right, sweet pea," she says at last, "it's time for you to go to bed."

    "Mommy, would you ask Daddy to come tuck me in?"

    "No, he's at work tonight at the fire station. But he'll be home tomorrow."

    Campbell smiles, knowing how surprised his wife will be when she sees that he's come home early-with permission, of course-to celebrate their eleventh anniversary.

    "Mommy, I want to marry Daddy."

    "You do?" Joy laughs. "Catherine, you can't marry Daddy. He's my husband."

    "Well, when you're done being married, can I have him?"

    Campbell's heart swells. In the moonlight, he catches glimpses of his daughter's drawings tacked up beside her dollhouse. In one picture, blue crayon hearts surround the words "Daddy," "Me," and "Mommy."

    "I'm sorry, sweet pea." Joy is chuckling. "We'll never be done. You'll have to marry somebody else."


    "We don't know yet. But someday."

    "Can I wear a white dress and white gloves?"

    "Sure, if you want to."

    Campbell edges closer to the doorway. He spots the framed photo of himself, outfitted in his turnout gear and fire helmet, holding his darling, dark-haired girl and kissing her on the cheek while she flashes a grin wider than the pink bow in her hair.

    From the bed, Catherine's voice cracks with the hope of every little girl. "Will we live happily after ever?" She mixes the words, but her desire is heartfelt.

    "Mm-hmm," Joy says. "If you marry someone who really, really loves you."

    "Like Daddy?" Catherine asks.

    "Yes. Like Daddy ..."

    IN THE CLAUSTROPHOBIC space of his heavy gear and face mask, Captain Campbell held on to that memory. He was a husband, a father. He did not want to die, not like this. Not here in this store, without the chance to see his family again. Without the chance to walk his daughter down the aisle. And what about being a grandfather? Was that too much to ask for?

    He pushed on through the heavy smoke, his knees grinding into the floor. He imagined Joy at home on her knees. He'd never been much of a praying man himself, but he didn't discount the value of a wife who talked to God.

    "You're not losing me yet," he whispered. "Not if I can help it."

    He couldn't help it, though. Barely able to breathe, he felt disoriented by the blackness.

    What was that?

    His hand brushed against something slightly larger than the pipe. It was charged with water-the hose!

    He was back where he'd started, in the middle of the store, but a long trek stretched before him in the opposite direction.

    Air. He needed fresh air. He was gulping at nothing, now that the canister on his back had run dry. He knew that to take off his mask would put him at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. On the other hand, he had only a few breaths left.

    How long could he crawl without oxygen?

    Forty seconds, sixty? Maybe ninety, if he could force down panic and keep his respiratory system regulated?

    He thought again of his wife and his daughter.

    One knee forward. One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand.

    Another knee. Three-one-thousand, four.

    Five, six, seven ...

    Twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four ...

    His eyes were losing focus. His head was swimming. Blood pounded in his ears.

    Forty-eight, forty-nine ...

    Movements slowing. Feeling sluggish.

    Sixty-one ...

    He peeled off the mask, gasping, finding only toxic fumes that dried out his tongue and seared his throat.

    Sixty-two ...

    Three ...

    "I love you, Joy," he muttered. "I-"


    Strong hands scooped beneath his arms and jarred him back to the moment. He felt himself dragged along the path of the winding hose, his boots scrambling at the floor. He heard grunts and groans, and then he and his rescuer were exploding through the front doors into the blessed, oxygen-rich atmosphere outside, into swirling lights and cries of relief.

    "Caleb found him. Look! The rookie found the captain from Station One!"

    "Nice job, kid."

    "Captain, are you with me? We thought you were a goner."

    EMS personnel swarmed around, their voices smudged by the effects of carbon monoxide and exhaustion. He tried to sit up. He had to get back inside. He was held down, while someone pointed out the store's assistant manager seated on the nearby curb, with minor burns, but safe and sound.

    "Tynes pulled him out," another firefighter explained.

    "My partner." Campbell looked around. "Is he okay?"

    "Man, I'm sorry." Tynes stepped into view. "I thought you were right behind me, Captain. I tried calling over the radio, but you didn't respond."

    Captain Campbell nodded his forgiveness and closed his eyes.

    A firm hand removed his brush jacket and his boots, letting the cool air work as a balm on his sweat-drenched frame.

    Later, as the fire was brought under control and the ruckus quieted, he pulled himself up. Still weak, he felt guilty for not standing by his crew. And where was the man who had pulled him to safety?

    On cue, the rookie clapped a hand on his shoulder. "You can relax, sir. We got it under control. We're just glad you're still with us."

    "Me, too," Campbell admitted.

    "We weren't gonna lose you. Not tonight."

    "Your name's Caleb? Which station you from?"

    "Six. This was only my second real fire."

    "You did good, kid. I appreciate you coming after me. I truly do."

    "Well, I couldn't let anything happen to you, Captain. If I'm gonna take over your job someday, I need you to stick around to teach me everything you know."

    "Is that so?" Campbell raised an eyebrow and looked up into the rookie's soot-stained face. "Tell you right now, Caleb, that might take some time."

    "I've got time, sir. And I'm a quick learner."

    Chapter Two

    Caleb Holt, rookie and recent hero, had been given orders to find the hose stretcher. What was a hose stretcher, though? He searched the fire engine high and low for the seemingly nonexistent object, ducking his head into compartments and running his hand along every inch of the truck.

    That's when Catherine Campbell strolled into the bay, the captain's daughter, his pride and joy.

    Eighteen. Brunette, with natural highlights.

    Catherine wore a summer dress, with a red mini-sweater tied off above her thin hips. The slight curve of her brown eyes was simultaneously alluring and friendly. "You must be Caleb."

    Her voice caused sparks to dance, somewhere deep inside him.

    "Uh, well ..."

    "Unless you're going under a different name now," she goaded.

    "Caleb. Yeah, that's me."

    "Thank you for what you did. Saving my dad like that."

    He shrugged that off. "You're Catherine, right?"

    "Word spreads fast."

    "Your father's proud of you. He has a picture of you in his office, but I never realized that you ... Well, now I guess you're just more ..."

    "More what?"

    "Uh, you're older."

    She grinned. "Yeah, I wish he'd put up my new picture instead. I was, like, what, fourteen in that one?"

    "You looked like you were just a girl."

    "Just a girl?"

    "Well, you know, not all grown up."

    "And now look at me." A smile played over her lips. "All grown up."

    Caleb tried not to stare and shout a rousing Amen!

    This was the captain's daughter, and he knew he'd be better off not dwelling on the romantic possibilities. Plus, he was twenty-four years old. He'd been through his share of relationships, and the next time around he wanted something more substantial.

    An eighteen-year-old? That was just asking for trouble.

    Sure, physically speaking, she was grown up, but she probably still lived at home and had never paid so much as an electric bill in her life.

    She was feisty, though, and he liked that. He'd always wanted a wife who had a mind of her own, not just some doormat for his own ambitions.

    Easy there, big guy, he told himself. Give it another two or three years. "You know where my dad is?" Catherine said.

    "He left awhile ago to meet the investigator at the burn site."

    "Okay. Guess I'll check back later."

    "Okay, then. Well, uh, good meeting you, Catherine."

    "You, too, Caleb."

    With that, Catherine Campbell pivoted toward the waning sun, leaving the rookie with her silhouette burned into his mind.

    Chapter Three

    Along the bay wall of the Albany Fire Department, Station One, grimy gear and smudged boots stood beneath yellow helmets that hung from hooks. Caleb Holt had just added his own to the collection, the word Captain stenciled upon it.

    Ten years he had served this city. Now, at age thirty-four, he had earned the second trumpet on his white officer's shirt-one of the youngest ever to do so. He'd dreamed of this since age eight, and even though he dreaded some of the grisly scenarios he came upon in the line of duty, he loved his job, this city, and the group of guys he worked with.

    Lieutenant Michael Simmons: a tall, rangy black man with an angled chin.

    Driver Wayne Floyd: a loose-limbed jokester, with gelled hair above expressive blue eyes.

    Firefighter Terrell Sanders: a stocky, bald black man, always ready for a debate.

    Rookie Eric Harmon: a young, sturdy fellow, still trying to find his place.

    In the manner of firefighters everywhere, they were a dependable bunch, fun-loving, and ready to go to any lengths to protect the citizens in their care.

    Why, then, did Caleb have this gnawing unease in his gut?


    Excerpted from FIREPROOF by ERIC WILSON Copyright © 2008 by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick. Excerpted by permission.
    All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
    Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

    Meet the Author

    Eric Wilson is the author of eight suspense novels that explore earth's tension between heaven and hell.  He lives in Nashville with his wife and two daughters.

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    Fireproof 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 109 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I Love that this story was based around a man trying to save his marriage. In so many books the woman is running around trying win her man. This book made me remember that the little things count more then the big. I would recommend this story to anyone.
    winmagger More than 1 year ago
    My wife and I have been together for 9 1/2 years and married for 6 years 7 months. We started having minor problems that equaled an unfixable relationshiplong due to my ability to change on a simple request. November 1st it became blatently obvious that she wanted out. Recieved the book for Christmas from my Mom, we read it simultaneously in two days. The only reason it took that long was due to work schedules and I didn't want her to read past me. We both agreed it was an excellent book, only wish they had Children and all 40 days worth of the exercises Caleb used to complete his task. We still may be headed for divorce, but the book is a great read for anybody in or out of a relationship, as it may fix problems that seem small before they have a chance to destroy a marriage.
    daydream_09 More than 1 year ago
    Words can't describe how great this book is , i saw the movie before i read this book and i totally saw it re-play in my head, got emotional during the movie and book Im not married but i am in a relationship & this book has taught me sooo much im greatful for this book & the movie
    Sunny Royal More than 1 year ago
    Cover to cover, it was a connection builder through relationships, work, and LOVE.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Best book and movie in the whole wide world. PERIOD DOT.
    Nerakenia More than 1 year ago
    Really enjoyed this book!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    kdmcalester More than 1 year ago
    Fireproof is about a fireman whose marriage is about to go up in smoke if he does not protect is like he would a building or person from a fire. Fireproof was interesting concept of how to protect your relationship. The concept of fireproofing your relationship is one I don't think most of us thinking about until are relationships starts to smoke. I like how each section of the books was named after things that have to deal with fire. The basis of fireproofing your relationship was based on God so this was more of a Christian fiction book. Although the book had good plot is just lacked in the characters. They were so predictable and whiny that they get on your nervous. Stronger three dimensional characters would really make this a very interesting book. I do not have a lot of desire to read any more books by Eric Wilson especially if they are written after a movie. When a book follows the movie it can't be that great. I guess it was more of how to save your marriage especially if you do not have strong relationship with the Lord Our Savior. The biggest lesson in the book is you must have a relationship with God in order to lover your spouse totally. I would recommend the Love Dare for a person struggling with marriage issues which these novel talks about and is Forty day Journey.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is a great book. Makes you think about taking the time to look at the positive things in your marriage and hang on to them and go the extra mile to keep little special things going. Reminds you of just how exciting little things are when you spouse surprises you with them.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    A "must read" for those that are in relationships that suffer from the stresses of different careers.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Good quick read. Writting very elementary though.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love this book more than anything. Eric Wilson is an amazing author and I'm glad he decided to share this book. Its a great book about love(=
    diana45 More than 1 year ago
    I have read this book a few times, and I love it more every time! It really touches you on a deeper level than most books. The writing was amazing, as always. I love all of Eric Wilson's books, but I think this is one of my favorites from him. I would recommend this book to anyone!
    DANIELLEAT More than 1 year ago
    nnjrivera More than 1 year ago
    This book was amazing! As soon as I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book to any couple that are going through difficult times. The story is so breathtaking and refreshing that it would bring hope back into your relationship with your sweetheart. That is what it did for my marriage. =) I have lend my copy to my friend, and it helped her relationship too! =D I love this book because it deals with reality, but also faith and romance. This story is one-of-a-kind! Share the story with your lover. Instead having your lover read the book also, why don't you wish the movie together? They made a movie out of it because it is that so GOOD! =D
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Loved it .
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I read the book in to days!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love so much!
    Yvee Benzon More than 1 year ago
    Unlike other stories, I don't find time reading the book after watching the movie. But for this one, got back into reading again despite the busy schedule. My husband and I have had problems and this book had inspired me to believe that with the guidance of Someone higher, miracles happen through different media.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I would recommend this book to people juzt starting a relatipnship its a good book i havd had terrible relationship and reading thus a few times makes me think of my relationships and take them serious for what its worth
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I liked it alot you should read this book
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    A great read for anyone.I love it.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago