Travolta and Phoenix, along with co-star Balthazar Getty, spent a month of hands-on training at an academy to prepare for their film, which sees them playing firefighters from Baltimore, Maryland - but their devotion sparked grave concerns.
Getty recalls, "We went out on a real call and into a real fire, and there was no supervision. It was just us with the firefighters, and they didn't care.
"It was exhilarating, and it was scary. You're with these guys in your turnout gear, you've got your tank on your back, and you almost feel like you can walk right into it and not get hurt.
"Once the producers realised what we were doing, they put a stop to it. We got a big memo saying, 'You are no longer allowed to do ride-alongs with the fire department.'"29/01/2004 00:11