COMBUSTIBLE: A Fireman’s Road to Hell Hits a Detour at 9/11

A Fireman's Road to Hell Hits a Detour at 9/11

Retail Price: $26.95

Conor Kilcullen is an adrenaline junkie.

A longtime member of the New York City fire department, Conor will be the first to charge into a blazing apartment or crawl down a smokey hallway to save a trapped infant. Conor is also a cocaine addict, an alcoholic, and an inveterate gambler who blames God for his first wife’s tragic early death. It is a combustible combination.

Morally rudderless, Conor temporarily flirts with salvation when a beautiful Irish-Catholic fiddler starts tending bar in his nightclub. Colleen Quinn is everything he’s not—religious, anchored, and ethical.

Co-written by a retired NYC fire lieutenant who was a 9/11 first responder, Combustible accurately depicts the procedures and operations of the FDNY while focusing on one troubled firefighter. The novel illustrates how the strength of the brotherhood sometimes erases the border between friends and family.

While fighting fires in a busy Bronx station stocked with screwballs, Conor battles atheism, alcoholism, and his inner demons. The tension in Combustible builds not only through the dangerous fire scenes and the accurate depictions of these Bronx firefighters, but to a subplot that finds Conor torn between the virtuous Colleen and the girl of his salacious dreams — an Australian whom he meets while on holiday in New Orleans. An already Combustible situation quickly accelerates when she is transferred to New York.

The book makes a cataclysmic detour at 9/11. Conor has several decisions to make . . . decisions that will shape the remainder of his life.


Proceeds from the sale of this book will also help other communities and organizations preserve their history through Our American Heritage Project, a non-profit organization.
About The Author

Billy O’Connor

In Billy O’Connor’s colorful life, the Irish immigrant was a Vietnam vet, a Teamster, an inveterate gambler, an illegal bookie, a bar owner, and an alcoholic and drug user. Billy also served twenty years with the New York City Fire Department and was a first responder at Ground Zero.

Learn More about Billy O’Connor

Frank Pace  A four-time Emmy Award nominee, Frank Pace has produced more than 700 hours of network television in a career that has spanned nearly four decades. His credits include Head of the Class, Suddenly Susan, George Lopez, Shake it Up, Girl Meets World, and Murphy Brown. Frank has also produced four movies, including the Emmy Award-winning NBC movie Babe Ruth. This is the fifth book he has co-authored, the first two with Rod Carew & Armen Keteyian. Combustible is the third he has co- Learn More about Frank Pace

“In the fast-paced, vivid story of faith and fire, sin and salvation, an Irish American New York City firefighter faces all the demons of his past and his profession. With the kind of ‘describe that bar’ detail, syncopated dialogue, and dark humor that would make Sam Spade proud, Conor Kilcullen is the rare, hard-bitten hero who is actually seeking a force greater than himself and hoping to actually find it, even among the ruins of one of this country’s greatest tragedies.”

-—Mary McNamara, fellow Irish American and Pulitzer Prize-winning critic

“Combustible! is one howling firestorm of a novel. Riveting from the first page to the last, it explodes on the page like the fiery world it portrays. The emotional highs and lows of putting your life on the line, the value of friends who always have your back no matter what, and the desperate need for love, sex, and substances to shake it off — it’s all here! Be prepared for a roller coaster ride to a powerhouse finish and the redemption that only faith and love can bring you.”

-—Don Scardino, Emmy Award winning television director

“I have led a few rare men like Conor Kilcullen into the heart of fire. Conor’s character is complex — funny and flawed, yet tragically heroic. The book’s final scenes at Ground Zero rip the scars off the worst day in our county’s history. The smells, the chaos, and the heroism is all there. This novel could only have been written by someone who was at the site. Damn you, Billy O’Connor — and you too, Frank Pace!”

-—Daniel P. Sheridan, FDNY Battalion Chief, 9/11 First Responder

“In my thirty years on the FDNY, I have seen many failed attempts, in both print and film, to try and capture the essence of the NY city firefighter. By utilizing true acts of heroism, realistic dialogue, and clear, raw, and vivid phrases, this book succeeds by putting the reader right at the scene of the action. Combustible finally nails it. It is a remarkably riveting read through which you will discover that firefighters are ordinary men who are anything but ordinary.”

-—Frankie Santiago, FDNY Lieutenant (retired), 9/11 First Responder

Book Details
Author: Billy O’Connor, Frank Pace
Pages: 256 pages
Product Dimensions: 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-948901-89-5
Cover Type: Hardcover
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