***SPOILERS*** There's a string of fires in Chicago that in the buildings they happen in are heavily insured are suspiciously thought to be acts of arson. It's Let. Det. Frank Ballinger, Lee Marvin, who feel the fire bug or arsonist behind those flames is just released from prison and now girlie magazine photographer Vince Cronin, Mark Lawrence, who was doing time for arson.
At first Ballinger has nothing on Cronin in that he's always with one of his models, who he uses as an alibi, whenever the arson's take place.Checking out who's been buying loads of chemicals used for arson fires it's found out that one of Cronin's flunkies, Harry Harvey, has secretly been supplying him with it for both his work in developing film and possibly setting wear-houses on fire as well!
With Ballinger about to interrogate Cronin at his studio he whacks him from behind and chains Ballinger to a pipe at the very place he plans to set fire to. In a long boring process Cronin sets the place to be on fire when he leaves it with Ballinger being in it. It's the hot to give Ballinger a hotfoot or barbecue Cronin who then slips as he emptied a bucket of tar on the floor ending up breaking his leg and unable to leave the wear-house as it about to blow: With the combustible chemicals surrounding a candle placed by Cronin that's to, when it burn out, set it off like a timer it's now only a matter of time before the whole place explodes together with Ballinger & Cronin in it!!
***SPOILERS*** Tense 10 minutes of nail biting terror as Ballinger attempts to put the candle out before it sets of an explosion and engulfs the entire building, together him and the injured Cronin, in flames. Here for once the tough as nails as well as cool headed Let. Det. Ballinger almost lost his cool as well as his life as panic set in. Not to mention the punches and kicks he took from the sadistically gleeful Cronin while he was helplessly chained to a pipe. The explosive ending did in fact set things right with Ballinger not only being able to save his life but also that of Cronin who was to spend the rest of his miserable life behind bars as a convicted serial arsonist.
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