You need me, though you fear me.

I start life small, but with each meal I become more fearsome.

I never bathe for fear of dying.

My smell overcomes passersby, choking the life from them.

The enemy of water is my friend;

I’ll admit our friendship can get quite heated.

I could be your warmest companion.

I could bring bright light to your life.

Spurn me and I could burn you or leave you cold.