In part 3, Montag responds to a firecall and is surprised when Captain Beatty arrives at his home. Captain Beatty then makes Montag destroy his house using a flamethrower and instructs him to burn his book collection. Once Montag finishes burning his home, Faber begins to yell at him via the green bullet. Captain Beatty becomes suspicious, slaps Montag in the head, and picks up the green bullet. Beatty then listens to Faber speaking on the other end and threatens to track the device, which motivates Montag to switch the safety off the flamethrower.
As Montag points the flamethrower in Beatty's direction, the captain begins quoting Shakespeare, daring Montag to pull the trigger. Finally, Montag tells Captain Beatty, "We never burned right" and proceeds to pull the trigger. Bradbury vividly describes the scene:
And then he [Captain Beatty] was a shrieking blaze, a jumping, sprawling, gibbering mannikin, no longer human or known, all writhing flame on the lawn as Montag shot one continuous pulse of liquid fire on him. There was a hiss like a great mouthful of spittle banging a redhot stove, a bubbling and frothing as if salt had been poured over a monstrous black snail to cause a terrible liquefaction and a boiling over of yellow foam.
This description creates the image in the reader's mind of Captain Beatty liquifying from the intense heat as his body twists and jerks in pain. As Montag shoots the steady stream of flames, Bradbury describes Montag's reaction:
Montag shut his eyes, shouted, shouted, and fought to get his hands at his ears to clamp and to cut away the sound. Beatty flopped over and over and over, and at last twisted in on himself like a charred wax doll and lay silent.
After killing Captain Beatty, Montag threatens to shoot the other firemen and destroys the Mechanical Hound. The Mechanical Hound manages to wound Montag, who flees from the scene with a paralyzed leg and heads toward Faber's home. Later on, Montag thinks about Captain Beatty's reckless behavior and comes to the conclusion that he wanted to die. Montag thinks to himself,
Beatty wanted to die. In the middle of the crying Montag knew it for the truth. Beatty had wanted to die. He had just stood there, not really trying to save himself, just stood there, joking, needling, thought Montag, and the thought was enough to stifle his sobbing and let him pause for air.