The man trudged across the blackened ruins of a house that was no longer standing. His uniform was streaked and dirty from the charcoal remnants, and his hat was scorched. He sighed slightly, wishing they had reached the burning house sooner, knowing it could have made all the difference.

Hearing the sound of boots crunching behind him, he turned and faced his superior.

"Your report?" The man asked grimly, and he swiped a hand over tired eyes, reddened from the smoke, before answering.

"Three casualties, all dead. One child - male - and his parents. Fire started on the top floor. The boy would have died first, followed by the woman. She was on the stairs when they collapsed from the heat. We don't know why the male didn't escape alive, but there's a possibility that he was too inebriated to realise what was happening.

Local services were held up, and our engines were delayed reaching here. By the time we got here there was nothing we could do for the house, but the surrounding buildings have been saved. All surrounding civilians have been evacuated, and the bodies have been removed.

We did our best, sir, but..." He broke off, sighing again.

"You did what you could." His superior said, glancing at him, as they both stood in silence for a moments.

"Cause?" He finally asked, wishing he could be at home with his wife and kids, and hating himself for it. There was a duty to be done here, and all he wanted was to run away.

"Undetermined." He said shortly, before hesitating and adding, "Because the fire was on the top floor, there were none of the usual risks; kitchen appliances, etc. None of the radiators were on; plug sockets in perfect condition, no sign of a gas leak. Only electricity being used was the television, downstairs, but..." He trailed off, and his superior shot him a quick look,

"But what?" He said sharply, and the other man continued,

"We found some used matches, and a discarded lighter, as well as other fire related implements in the wreckage, but, of course, that doesn't prove anything... I guess it's just one of those mysteries."

The older man nodded, eyes sad,

"Just one of those mysteries."