Tax Cut Excerpt
By Michele Lynn Seigfried
I switched the television to a news channel. Ruby red colors overcame the screen, as the flames engulfed the beach club. The fourth alarm was called. A plea went out to all available firefighters in the county to come to the site. Much more help was needed. The fire chief appeared on camera. He said that the fire was burning much too hot and it was unable to be controlled. Walls and portions of the roof were collapsing, so it was too dangerous to send anyone inside to fight the blaze.
The newscaster postulated that an accelerant could have been used for a fire of this size and magnitude; a fire that couldn’t seem to be controlled. An explosion occurred inside the far end of the building. A reporter speculated that the gas lines from the kitchen stoves or hot water heater had ignited, causing the blast. We stayed glued to the TV, watching in horror.
The winds gusted up to thirty miles per hour. Embers from the inferno took flight, landing on nearby rooftops. The fifth alarm was called. We could hear the sirens from outside in the living room. Fire companies from the mainland were making their way over the bridge, through the Town of Sunshine, on their way to Coral Beach.
By lunchtime, the fire was still raging out of control. Six different fire districts were on site. Neighboring homes were being reduced to ash. The smoke plume stretched along seven miles, swallowing the coastline. It was so dense, it could be seen on satellite radar. The decision was made to concentrate efforts on saving other structures, rather than extinguishing the flames at the beach club. It was beyond hope and couldn’t be contained without risking the lives of those battling the blaze.
I saw the walls cave on the TV screen, from the safety of my parents’ home. A second later, the building collapsed. The beach club was reduced to a pile of rubble, ravaged by the fire, which continued to burn with vibrant blue flames.
By dinnertime, the news channels were a flurry of activity about the fire. Each channel announced that it was an eight-alarm fire, unheard of in the history of Coral Beach. Unheard of in the history of the entire island. Firefighters had been continually rushed to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Several homes were ablaze as well. Efforts were only being made to prevent further property damage and protect the lives of the heroes battling this unstoppable monster.
Meet the Author:
Michele Lynn Seigfried is an award-winning novelist, children’s book author/illustrator and public speaker who was born and raised in New Jersey. In her mystery novels, she draws from her personal expertise in the area of municipal government, in which she has served for over 16 years in two different municipalities. She holds a B.A. in communication from the College of New Jersey with a minor in art. She obtained the Master Municipal Clerk certification from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks in 2010. She also holds the Registered Municipal Clerk certification and Certified Municipal Registrar Certifications from the State of New Jersey. Combining her love of writing with art, Michele began writing and illustrating children’s picture books in 2013.
Connect with Michele:
To Purchase Tax Cut (Jersey Shore Mystery Series #2):
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tax-cut-michele-seigfried/1117789686?ean=9781494215330
To Purchase Red Tape (Jersey Shore Mystery Series #1):
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/red-tape-michele-seigfried/1115098453?ean=9781482012880