Copyright 2013 by Edward Norton
Published by Creative Communications Services at Smashwords
There are too many ways to kill. Pistol, knife, poison. The worst? Maybe by vehicle. But maybe the worst is by fire.
The weather fit my mood. The drive from Springfield was not pleasant in any weather. The old industrial city in mid New England had another one of those awful tenement fires the day before and the order from Boston was go check it out for the insurance policy. Was it arson, another form of creative destruction? Or was it the usual--bad wiring, cigarettes, or fatal child play. This one was the former. Overloaded circuits in the 1910 building. Four families in the three decker left homeless, and one 3-year-old girl dead in her bed.
That was hard to take when they brought her body out. Some of the young firemen wept. The older ones didn't. It wasn't their first fatal burn.
Nor mine, so I didn't weep for little Carmen. I did my job, checked with the state Fire Marshal and sent the report electronically to Boston. The landlord, some corporation in Boston, would get the insurance. It wasn't all that much, considering the building's age, and despite the tin siding, the place was a fire ball waiting to happen.