Rising Arson Numbers Blamed on Economy 

State figures so far this year show 134 confirmed incendiary, or arson, fires: representing 8 million dollars worth of property.

An additional 52 incidents, or fire scenes, are either under investigation or are ready to be investigated.

For 2007, there were 130 confirmed cases involving 4.6 million dollars in property.

Fire marshal John Dean says he has seen more mention in his investigators’ reports of vacant buildings or buildings under foreclosure, and vehicles that have burned for no reason other than to collect on insurance.

Dean said he suspects that the economy might be driving a lot of crimes.

He says people feel trapped when they lose their jobs, and that can lead to robberies, assaults, domestic violence, substance abuse, and arson.