"Hellfire", as a title, makes one hope that this episode will be a Suspense cautionary tale with such a "big lesson" that somehow eternal damnation is involved. So, it may come as a letdown to learn that this is actually a story about a fire. It's about a very big fire. A HELLFIRE!
Ross Murray wrote this Suspense episode about an oil well disaster in Texas. A quote attributed to him in the book Suspense: Twenty Years of Thrills and Chills explains his inspiration: "I read a story of Red Adair or his predecessor, who went to Saudi Arabia to put out an oil well fire, and I thought how interesting it would be if some little old wild cat in Texas had his single oil well catch fire, and couldn't get a hold of the professional, and what would he do to put it out himself."* Firefighters Red Adair and Boots & Coots were also the inspiration for the 1968 movie Hellfighters starring John Wayne.
"Hellfire" was broadcast on September 28, 1953 and starred John Hodiak as Wally, Jerry Hausner, Joseph Kearns, Clayton Post, and Charlotte Lawrence. Herb Butterfield, Junius Matthews, Dick Ryan also appear.
As for the fires of Hell, firefighter extraordinaire Red Adair joked about his own fate in 1991 by saying: "I've done made a deal with the devil. He said he's going to give me an air-conditioned place when I go down there, if I go there, so I won't put all the fires out."
* Suspense: Twenty Years of Thrills and Chills by Martin Grams Jr., pg.112
(Image from Morguefile.com)