Book review: “Flames and Smoke Visible: A Fire Fighter's Tale,” by D.S. Lliteras

Memoir focuses on the life of a firefighter.
BY TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER Published: September 8, 2013
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REVIEW

“Flames and Smoke Visible: A Fire Fighter's Tale” by D.S. Lliteras (Rainbow Ridge Books, 196 pages, in stores)

While many people complain about work stress, D.S. Lliteras has a job that almost killed him: He's a firefighter and, while on a fight, he was stricken by a heart attack. An EMS team — including some men he worked with — took him to a nearby hospital, where Lliteras spent a weekend recalling his job.

For most workers, an 8- or 10-hour day is usual, but a firefighter may pull a “half-trick” (twelve hours) or a “full-trick” (24 hours).

“I loved it,” Lliteras wrote of his job. “God help me, I loved it.”

“Flames and Smoke Visible” starts out a little strangely. Lliteras begins his skinny memoir with a major fire and an even more major heart attack. It seemed unlikely his story could continue with that level of excitement.

For the most part, it could.

Like any job, firefighting has its downtime, but Lliteras nicely mixes the quiet with the heart-pounding.

This book surely could have used a glossary — there's a lot of technical jargon. But if you're a firefighter, want to be one or are proud of one you know, then “Flames and Smoke Visible” will light you up.

TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER, For The Oklahoman