Link to [Part 1
McCoy strode into the emergency room at St. Vincent’s hospital and consulted briefly with the on-duty triage nurse, who directed him down a hallway. Turning, he spotted a pair of figures in distinctive black uniforms peering into an examination room.
The older of the pair glanced up. Seeing McCoy there, he broke into a brief grin. “Jack.”
Hal’s face went blank. “We’re still investigating that,” he replied, somewhat formally. McCoy glanced into the exam room and winced to see Cutter on the gurney, his face scorched red by the fire and an oxygen mask over his face, apparently unconscious.
“Than you don’t think it’s an accident or an act of God,” McCoy noted quietly.
Hal didn’t react.
“What happened?” McCoy asked again.
“The fire started in the basement apartment,” Hal replied after a moment. “The occupant may have been … cooking … something.”
Something in Hal’s tone, in his face, alerted McCoy’s prosecutor’s instincts. “Cooking what?”
“That, I can’t comment on,” Hal said, and indicated Cutter with his chin. “We’re hoping he can give us some insight. Landlord said he’s complained. Even reported his neighbor to the cops.”
“The guy set up a meth lab in his apartment?” McCoy said incredulously, keeping his voice low.
“I told you, I don’t know.”
“No, you said you can’t comment.” McCoy scrutinized Hal’s expression. “What happened to the occupant of that apartment?”
Hal dropped his gaze. “DOA.”
“Of?” McCoy asked quietly. Hal spread his hands.
“Ask the ME,” he replied.
Link to [Part 3]