The exchange is reminiscent of the way cinema imagines prisoners in the yard asking, “What are you in for?”
Replace stenciled orange jumpsuits with bulky thermal coveralls and knit beanies, and move the conversation indoors to a burned-out shell of a living room where yellow police tape is laced around a floor lamp and upholstered sofa, half buried beneath charred cellulose insulation that fell from a ceiling now open to a bright blue February sky. Here, guys jockey around debris with pencils behind ears and clipboards under arms, steam rising from coffee cups as we ask each other the standard introduction to a large fire investigation: “Who do you have?”
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