Apparently, this is how it works: once the police and the medical examiners have done what they need to do at a crime scene, the fire department sends a rescue truck to clean up.
So a truck pulls up in front of my house, and the men get to work. One takes a spray bottle of something from a door on the side of the truck, others uncoil the hose, another pulls down a broom.
I can't see what they're doing, can only hear the chugging of the water and the low growl of the engine, with indistinguishable voices occasionally calling out above the din. After a while one of the men pulls the hose about 30 feet down the street, and another follows, carrying the broom, which he holds out for his colleague to spray off.
When the truck pulls away, the grey steps are grey again, all traces of red gone; the sidewalk in front of the house is wet and clean.
And on the porch are two doormats, where until this morning there were three.