"Herrmann, have you ever tried proving arson? It's as hard as nails." Gabby Dawson sighed and folded her arms, staring at the black ash that smothered the house on Maple Street. Chicago Police SUV's parked behind the fire trucks. Suspected arsonist targets are never ignored in Chicago.
A young woman with short wavy hair strolled towards them, pistol and badge hanging at her belt. "Detective Erin Lindsay, CPD Intelligence. We just want to ask you a few questions." Her unusual deep voice was striking at first, but Gabby recognized her from her brother's unit.
Speaking of her brother, Antonio came walking up behind Lindsay, after seeing to his daughter. "Hey Antonio, is Chrisie alright?" She said, pulling him into a tight hug.
"Yeah, yeah. She's a little shaken but she'll pull through." His tone was almost like a warning. Normally he'd get on more than fine with his nineteen-year-old daughter but for months, since Chrisie started at the Firefighter Training Academy, they'd been fighting and arguing. After almost losing his sister to the blazing flames, he couldn't risk losing his daughter as well.
Lindsay continued. "So Herrmann, what makes you think this is arson?"
"What, besides from the fact that a house fire killed five civilians across the street from where Andy Darden of 51 was also killed, exactly two years ago today?"
Antonio and Lindsay exchanged glances. "Anything else?"
"Strong smell of kerosene. Thought it was gasoline at the time, but now I recall I'm sure it was kerosene. Seemed as if it was coming from inside the walls, common for an arson. And we found the remains of a little girl's doll in the hallway, which we also found in the house across the street two years ago."
"You sure the girl in the family didn't have any dolls of her own? Could be a coincidence."
"I think not Detective." Gabby said. "Neighbors say the girl always played with her two brothers and didn't recall seeing any dolls or anything when visiting the family. Question is, why dolls? I mean, arsonists usually leave some kind of melted rubber behind from the fire, but a kid's toy?"
"Could well be significant." Antonio chimed in. "We'll need to conduct a proper investigation inside the burned building with the help of one of your firefighters."
"Kelly Severide is the expert in that department."
"And remember," said Lindsay, "if this is arson and it's connected to the 788 Maple Street fire, then no doubt this maniac is going to strike again and take out more civilians. As to who this guy is, we'll look into it, but it'll be a tough one to prove."
"Thanks guys. Gabby, I'll see ya at Molly's tonight." Antonio added.
Herrmann's face lit up. "Aaah, Molly's! The best bar in Chicago, right Erin?"
"Haha! right." She swept passed him, patting him on the shoulder whilst Antonio and Gabby said goodbye. She looked shaken up, probably thinking about Darden and the family that lost their lives in this fire.
"Hey, Dawson, you were brave in there. We almost didn't make it, and wouldn't have made it out alive at all if it wasn't for you."