On 8th May 1902, the citizens of Saint-Pierre, Martinique, huddled together in their spectacular cathedral of Notre Dame. Mont Pelee, the island volcano that had remained dormant for so long, had suddenly come alive. Within minutes the city had been destroyed along with its 30,000 inhabitants. The only apparent survivor was Ludger Sylbaris, a twenty-seven-year-old labourer who had spent the previous night in Saint-Pierre jail. Sylbaris was taken on by P.T. Barnum's famous circus and became a minor celebrity as he toured America recounting the horrors of the explosion. "Fire Mountain" is the thrilling story of that fateful day, the complex political events that played a part in the tragedy and a fascinating history of the island itself.