C.D. "Charlie" Bales, the fire chief of the small ski town of Nelson, Washington, is an intelligent, humorous, charismatic, athletic and skilled man. Regardless, he is rather sensitive about his abnormally large nose, which many in town have learned not to talk about; he cannot have it surgically altered due to a dangerous allergy to anesthetics. Still, he is close to many residents, especially his god-sister, Dixie, who owns the town diner and several rental homes. When the beautiful Roxanne Kowalski, a graduate student in astronomy, arrives to search for a new comet during the summer, he, as many others in town, becomes immediately attracted to her. She adores C.D., but only as a friend, preferring Chris, a handsome but dim-witted fireman, newly arrived in town to train the local firefighters, who are quite incompetent.