By Leah Rosenbaum

June 2, 2017 

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OAKLAND, Calif. - The day was dawning clear and sunny as Dan Robertson

picked his way through the remnants of the inferno. The veteran firefighter

was with a few of the other guys, making a final sweep to check that all the

flames were out, when morbid curiosity got the better of them. He was cold

and wet from water and sweat, and his knees told him it was time to go home.

But he wondered, what does a warehouse look like, all burnt up from the

inside out?


They walked over charcoal debris; some stuff they could recognize, like rugs

and alarm clocks. Other stuff had melted into dark indecipherable shapes.

The winter air smelled like that moment when you pour water on a big

log-filled campfire, but with scents of burning plastic and chemicals mixed