Towards the end of part two, Montag returns home from visiting Professor Faber and reads poetry aloud to Mildred and her shallow friends, who are consumed by mindless entertainment and embrace the dystopia's superficial culture. The poem upsets and offends Mildred's friends, who burst into tears and rush out of Montag's home. Unlike Montag, Mildred is comfortably numb with her meaningless life and has no interest in pursuing knowledge. She fears that Montag's fascination with literature will jeopardize her "comfortable" life and calls in the alarm on him.
Following the incident, Montag returns to the fire station and responds to an emergency call. At the beginning of part three, Montag is surprised when he arrives at his home and discovers that the alarm has been called on him. When Montag pulls up to his home, Mildred rushes past him and does not respond when he asks if she called in the alarm. Mildred simply ignores Montag and mumbles about her "poor family" before getting into a cab.
Captain Beatty then forces Montag to burn his home and book collection using a flamethrower. Once Montag destroys his house, Beatty confirms that Mildred called in the alarm. Captain Beatty also tells Montag that Mildred's friends were the first people to place a call but he let it go. Beatty then continues to insult Montag for quoting poetry and threatens to track down the person on the end of the green bullet, which infuriates Montag and influences him to kill Beatty.