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Malibu Burning


By John M. Malecky April, 2021

Malibu Burning
The Real Story Behind L.A’s Devastating Wildfire
By Robert Kerbeck

Available from:
FSP Books & Videos
188 Central Street, Suite #4
Hudson, MA 01749-1330
Price: $16.99

This is a soft cover book measuring 6" x 9", with 250 pages. It has 22 chapters plus a prologue and an epilogue. It is a great book about horrific stories and experiences! The thing that makes this book different than most books about fires is that the author, his family and his house survived this fire, the worst in L.A. history, and the chapters are about residents, businessmen and others and what their experiences were during this period, which started on November 8th of 2018.

You will get a perception of what they endured and how the fire was handled by the firefighting agencies who battled it. You will read about horror, tragedy, heroism and perseverance. You will come to know that not everyone who lives in the Malibu areas are wealthy people, in fact it is the opposite. You will read however how some celebrities, such as Nick Nolte, lost his house while he was filming a movie in Europe! You’ll read about the organization of Engine 271 and the story behind that. You will read about to what extreme homeowners will go to protect their property, especially when tall trees of types prone to fast burning surround them and how far embers can travel and spread flames. You will read about death and human interest stories, especially when it came to animals, both as pets and those running free. Just about all of these chapters cover these experiences compiled through interviews by the author who happens to be a writer. He himself put in countless hours trying to help others in all kinds of ways.

There is one chapter where the fire department tries to address questions and complaints from displaced residents and people devastated by this fire. I cannot write enough about these stories in the limited space that I have, but each chapter tells a story that the reader will empathize with and there are no cookie cutter stories. When I was on the job I expected to go to fires and we took many as routine. But many times I did empathize and thought how devastated and depressed I would be if the fire I was at was my own home! Each chapter is separate in itself and this book is worth reading!

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John MaleckySenior Columnist

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