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When an abandoned farmhouse collapses in Casey, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Paul Tucker's father, Sonny, and the other Casey firemen attempt a dangerous rescue to reach a teenager buried under the rubble. Sonny himself is trapped by a secondary collapse and Paul and his mother fear the worst, but Sonny -- a second-generation fireman beloved in town -- emerges hours later, carrying the maimed body of sixteen-year-old Ian Finch. The rescue of this swastika-tattooed hoodlum -- who may have brought the house down while building bombs -- becomes a validation of all things American and true, and Sonny is immediately hailed as a national hero. But Ian's continued presence in Sonny's life creates a new set of hurdles for young Paul -- and his mother and his hometown -- to overcome.
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