When I first ran through the doorway, it seemed like I was walking into a thick fog bank. The charcoal-colored smoke was so opaque I could not see my hand in front of my face. I squeezed my eyes nearly shut, held my breath and followed the sounds of running feet ahead of me.
Against all judgment, my partner had rushed into the burning house in hopes of finding the last occupant. With the fire department still on the way, I was the third cop to follow him inside where a teenager was, unbelievably, hiding out amidst the flames. Though …