A few minutes past five o'clock on the drizzly Sunday evening of January 29, 1956, more than 1,200 men and women were preparing to return home following an oyster roast sponsored by the church many had attended that morning, in Brooklyn, Maryland. When workers spotted smoke drifting downward from the ceiling, no one panicked. World War II veterans and war workers, they were accustomed to dealing with this sort of thing themselves. No one called the fire department. This is an account of the next three minutes, and what followed.
"Arundel Burning is a hard-hitting, yet compassionate story of what went wrong and what went right in a tragic fire that killed eleven and injured hundreds. Sadly, the same mistakes are being repeated today and Chief Joe Ross has written the book that should be read by everyone who cares about fire prevention as well as fire fighting."
- Hal Bruno, Contributing Editor, Firehouse Magazine
"All great and tragic fires in America, like New Yorkís Triangle Shirtwaist fire and Bostonís Cocoanut Grove fire, have unique and compelling stories. Arundel Burning is no exception. Joseph Rossís narrative is so informative and well done the reader becomes completely absorbed in it. A commendable and memorable book."
- Dennis Smith, author of Report from Engine Co. 82
"Anyone interested in public safety or personal safety should read Arundel Burning. It shows just how fast celebration can turn to tragedy."
- William E. Barnard, CFPS, Maryland State Fire Marshal
"The reader is transported back in time and leaves with a greater appreciation of the dangers of fire and the need for increased awareness of public safety and fire codes."
- Steven T. Edwards, Director, Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, University of Maryland
"Chief Joe Ross has documented a very interesting public assembly fire that might otherwise been lost to time. Joe skillfully describes the events leading up to; the operation during, but most importantly the aftermath of one of Marylands worst public assembly fires. In Arundel Burning, he calls into question that we can not afford to forget the past disasters if we are going to prevent them in the future. This book is a very interesting and must read for anyone that is serious about fire prevention or fire operations."
- Dennis L. Rubin, Fire Chief District of Columbia Fire Department
About the Author: Division Chief Joseph B. Ross Jr., CPFS, retired in 2000 after 33 years with the Anne Arundel County, Maryland, fire department. He has served on the faculty of the University of Maryland, Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, written extensively for fire fighting journals, and is currently a Fire Program Specialist with the U.S. Fire Administration. He resides with his wife Kathy in Linthicum, Maryland, near where the events described in Arundel Burning occurred.
240 pages; maps, photographs, appendices, bibliography, index
Price: $18.00. (Original trade paperback edition)
To order: Individuals are invited to visit ArundelBurning.com and complete an order form (Form Fillable PDF). You can E-mail your forms to JRoss@Arundelburning.com, or print copy of the order form. Send check or money order (no credit cards, please). Maryland residents add 6% ($1.08) sales tax. Add $3.00 shipping and handling per order. Please mail to to Arundel Burning, PO Box 312, Linthicum, MD 21090, or call 443-864-3495.
Arundel Burning is also available wherever fine books are sold. For orders in the book trade, contact Alan C. Hood & Co., Inc., at www.hoodbooks.com.
Special discounts are available on orders of 12 or more copies for organizations and fund-raising events. The author is also available for presentations and book signings.