On a balmy night in June someone strikes a match and starts a fire, sparking outrage and fear in the sleepy town of Staircase, Washington. Fire Chief Mac Fontana's job is to restore the town's safety and stop the arsonist before he strikes again. The media descend on Staircase, and unexpectedly the town erupts with celebrity fever. A dramatic rescue effort by Mac's crew to pluck six people from another house on fire brings national attention, and the townsfolk fall all over themselves in adulation. But when reclusive actress Aimee Lee Culpepper is discovered living on the outskirts of town, thrusting her into the limelight for the first time since scandal ruined her reputation, things get complicated. Fontana's personal life - and his relationship with Aimee Lee - become tabloid fodder. And suddenly the newspapers begin to question his integrity. The arsonist continues on his burning binge, an innocent life is lost, and Mac must look for some unpleasant answers. Is Aimee Lee's young, fire-fascinated son the culprit? Or could it be one of Mac's own firefighters? Is Fontana the arsonist's ultimate target?
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