American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land - Chapter 4 — Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Monica Hesse
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Summary

Charlie Smith is a troublemaker, perhaps because his father leaving his mother damaged him psychologically. School never came naturally to him, but he has always been undeniably skilled at car-fixing and firefighting. He smoked marijuana incessantly before becoming addicted to cocaine. He eventually turned to forgery to fund the habit, and served time in prison. He still worked in the fire department though; Charlie was many times a hero who fought fires closely with Beall.

Charlie accidentally impregnated a friend, but visited his daughter often after her birth. He then met Mary, who loved how kind he was to his daughter, and eventually they lived together and she allowed him to parent her children as well. After a decade of being engaged, they still hadn’t gotten married. They decided, then, to break up, and Mary moved away. Charlie relapsed again, and then...

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This section contains 1,095 words
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Buy the American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land Study Guide
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