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The flames consumed everything. They licked the weatherboard walls of Peter Halliday’s shed and nibbled at the timber lining boards stacked in the rafters. They blackened and eroded the kiln-dried hardwood studs that formed the skeleton of the walls. They lapped at the pools of oil on the concrete floor. They went up with a whoosh as they met the flammable fuel that spilled from upturned petrol cans. They melted the soles of the man’s boots and ran along his petrol-soaked jeans and green-and-cream-checked shirt. They blistered his freckled skin and fed on his fat and sizzled in his red, springy hair. They burned the ends of the clump of black straight hair that was gripped tightly in his fist. Their smoke filled his lungs and starved his blood of oxygen.
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