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On his sixtieth birthday, Jim Hadley, after forty years of service as a fireman, is placed on a pension and declared too old to be of any further service. Jim finds retirement difficult and feels frustrated as the city is plagued by a series of arson blazes. When his best friend, fireman Burt Stafford, is killed while attempting to extinguish a blaze started by a crazed pyromaniac, Jim teams with his daughter Joan's fiancé, Frank Rogers, an investigator with the Great Eastern Insurance Company, to apprehend the arsonist. While at the scene of a fire, Jim stumbles on the statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, which has been dropped by the arsonist, a sinister antique dealer. Jim stashes the statue in his car, but the arsonist retrieves the figure. Later that night, Jim tells his story to Joan and Frank, who remember seeing the statue in the antique dealer's window. Appearing at the shop with a search warrant, Jim finds some sawdust that matches the wooden boxes used to start the fires. Before they can arrest him, however, the antique dealer eludes the police and sets a fire bomb in the Hadleys' basement. Upon hearing a report that the arsonist has been sighted in his neighborhood, Jim rushes home to find his house in flames and the maniac holding Joan and Mrs. Hadley prisoner. After Frank and Jim rescue the women, the firebug perishes in the flames, and as a reward for saving the city from the arsonist, Jim is appointed honorary fire commissioner.