Phelps: There isn't much left.
Biggs: There never is if the job's done properly.
Phelps: You think it was deliberate?
Biggs: No. That's real pain in her face. They would have moved out the things they care about if this was insurance. There's no mileage in this. Hello, Mike.
Branigan: Hey, Hersh. You cop this one?
Biggs: Yeah. Mike Branigan, Cole Phelps. It's okay, Branigan. His name may be dogshit but there's none on his hand.
Branigan: No offense, Phelps.
Phelps: None taken. Do you have anything?
Branigan: The fire started late last night. Steffens family were at Catalina Island. Won some kind of competition. Looks like the only thing they ever won in their lives and they come home to this.
Biggs: I'd say they were pretty lucky, really.
Branigan: They don't have any insurance. Everything they own including the house is not that pile of rubble.
Phelps: Where are they sleeping?
Branigan: In the car. It was lucky the whole block didn't burn down. Word is they're bulldozing this whole neighborhood to build new homes for GIs. That's the man of the house, in the ruins. Teary lady is his wife.
Biggs: We'll take a look around. Come on, Phelps.
Phelps: Mr. Steffens? Cole Phelps and Herschel Biggs, LAPD. I know it's a difficult time, but could we have a word?
Don: Don Steffens.
Phelps: You were out of town?
Don: We won a prize. We had a wonderful time. Came home to this.
Phelps: Do you still have the tickets?
Phelps: It's a formality, but we'll need to speak to the issuing agent. Can you tell me any more about the prize that you won, Mr. Steffens?
Don: Weekend at Catalina Island. My wife got this flyer in the mail from the Suburban Redevelopment Fund.
Phelps: Did you enter any kind of competition?
Don: My wife filled in a flyer. Lady just rung up and told us we won. It's the first time I ever won anything.
Phelps: The Redevelopment Fund. Did they offer to buy you out?
Don: They're building new houses. They showed their money and most of the neighborhood just packed up and walked away. But I never bargained with them.
Phelps: Everyone else is selling, but you're the holdout, aren't you?
Don: I was the last. I thought I could hold out for a better price. My house is the center lot.
Phelps: So now you'll have to take the price regardless?
Don: Looks like it. I've got no choice. I have to put a roof over my family.
Phelps: That's all we need for the moment, Mr. Steffens.
Don: All right.
Phelps: Recently serviced. Could be something to go on.
Phelps, Badge 1247.
Operator: How can I help, Detective?
Phelps: I need information on the Suburban Redevelopment Fund.
Operator: Yes, Detective. Just checking. The Fund is a semi-government agency, established to speed up the building of GI homes. It has private investors, as well as a government endowment.
Phelps: Do you have an address for them?
Operator: There is one listed here. Corner of Beverly and Mariposa.
Phelps: Thanks for your help. You can drive.
Biggs: All right. Where to?