‘On Fire’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: How Did Dave’s Father Die?

On Fire is a movie by Peter Facinelli and Nick Lyon that’s dedicated to the real heroes—firefighters, volunteers, and police—who bravely battle wildfires to save people around the world! It’s inspired by true stories, shining a light on the bleak reality faced by millions of families each year as they deal with the awful aftermath of these huge fires. In On Fire movie, you’ll see the massive damage caused by wildfires—acres and acres of land burned away, leaving behind nothing but destruction. Families are torn apart, and the whole community feels the pain. At the center of the story is a family of four fighting hard to survive the blazing fire. It’s a nail-biting struggle as they try to stay safe in a world consumed by flames. Will they make it out okay, or will they be swallowed up by the flames? Their determination and the support of the firefighters are their best weapons to survive this. How do they do it? Let’s find out! 


Spoilers Ahead

How Did Dave’s Father Die? 

At the beginning of On Fire, we’re introduced to a family: Dave, his wife Sarah, their son Clay, and Dave’s father. They live in Colbert. We see Dave driving Clay home from practice, and on their car radio, they hear news about wildfires up in the mountains in the Parker area. However, since they live in Colbert, there’s no news of fire as of yet, so they feel relieved. Dave’s father doesn’t like Sarah much because he has lung disease but still smokes cigarettes, and Sarah is completely opposed to this. Despite this, they paint a close-knit family picture. Meanwhile, emergency responders don’t get any indication of a fire alert in the Colbert area. So, when people start asking for help and questioning the smoke in the area, they try to reassure them that there’s no need to evacuate yet. However, Dave sees that the fire is approaching them from the adjacent mountain, and it’s only a matter of time before they’ll have to evacuate. He decides to go get some supplies to fireproof their home. Meanwhile, Sarah and Clay prepare themselves for the impending danger, but it’s a challenge to convince their cranky, stubborn grandfather to come along with them. As the family prepares to leave, they receive a message that the fire is indeed heading toward the Colbert area. Dave is still at the supply place when they evacuate.


Meanwhile, Sarah drives the car as fast as she can, navigating through the blazing fire all around them. However, Dave encounters a roadblock set up by the police. Knowing the fire could catch up to them quickly, he waits for an opportunity to pass. He struggles to get a phone signal to contact his family. Meanwhile, Sarah drives like crazy, but her father-in-law, struggling with heart disease, finds it difficult cope. As they come down the mountain, an animal suddenly appears in front of their car. Sarah turns the car sharply, but it’s too late—they crash into a tree. Dave, seeing the roadblock, decides to take a risk and drives the truck through it, ignoring the police. When he arrives, he finds that his family’s car has crashed into a tree. He rushes to rescue his pregnant wife and son from the car but sees his father, bleeding from the head, dead inside.

How Did Their Truck Catch On Fire? 

Losing his father left Dave upset, and Sarah and Clay were equally sad. They knew they didn’t have much time and had to rush home because the road wasn’t safe. After reaching home, they began fireproofing the place. They started hearing news about how 100 homes had been burned and 1000 people had evacuated the area. Sarah, being 8 months pregnant, found it difficult to cope with the situation. Suddenly, they noticed a spot fire in front of their house, causing the nearby trailer to catch fire. Their neighbor, Mrs. Elkin, was running towards them, swallowed up in flames. Dave, Sarah, and Clay rushed to save her, but they couldn’t reach her in time. Mrs. Elkin died before their eyes. Losing two close people in one night—you can imagine the emotional burden they had to deal with in their quest for survival! They knew their house was next, so they boarded the truck and drove away fast. When they looked back, they saw their house burning down, along with everything in it. Imagine watching your entire livelihood burn before your eyes! They drove through the mountains again, but found the road blocked by a tree. So, they used a chainsaw to cut through the trunk and make their way. They thought it was a victory, but wait! The truck’s engine seized, and oil started leaking. Imagine what happened next—yes, you guessed it right—the truck caught on fire! Luckily, they managed to escape the car safely.


How Did Kayla Help Them? 

They ran as fast as they could and found a cottage in the middle of nowhere with electricity, water, food, and the savior—a telephone with a signal! Sarah, understanding her declining breathing situation for being able to breath for being 8 months pregnant, called the responders. There was a responder named Kayla who was working tirelessly to make people feel safe. When she took their call, she assured Sarah that help was on the way. But as they were waiting, a tree beside the cottage caught fire, and they ran out the door to safety. It felt like they were in a stronghold where they could lose their lives at any moment. They started running again, but Dave slipped down the mountain and broke his leg! Luckily, they were beside a lake. With Clay and Sarah’s help, they made their way to a boat on the lake. In the meantime, Sarah’s water broke. Thus, Clay called Kayla again, asking for help. She informed them that there was a group of firefighters in the nearby area. So, Clay got out of the boat, ran through the blazing fire in the forest, and called out to the firefighters. Hearing his voice, they came forward and took Sarah and Dave both into their ambulances so that they could be saved.

During On Fire‘s ending, we see that both Dave and Sarah are safe. Sarah has given birth to a baby girl, who is also safe and sound. This joyful news makes Clay feel immensely happy, and he calls and thanks the responder, Kayla, for her invaluable help and support throughout their ordeal. In a heartwarming twist, we learn that Clay’s cranky old grandfather left a place in his will for Dave and his family. This allows them to build a new house and start their lives afresh together. Truly, all’s well that ends well!


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Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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