Yuma, Arizona - It has been just 2 weeks since the Mesa Heights arson fire that destroyed a section of new apartments under construction and damaged several other homes in the area. These types of fires should be everyone’s concern. Every year tens of thousands of fires occur in the United States under suspicious circumstances (many determined to be intentionally set).

These fires result in hundreds of deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage. Fires like this translate into higher insurance costs for everyone and since fires can easily spread from the original location, there is no telling who and what else will be endangered.

You can help your police and fire departments, and help protect your homes and families, when you report suspicious circumstances and persons. Be aware of people hanging around vacant buildings (or acting like they are trying to hide from view) or in business areas (or parks!) after hours (especially late at night). Reporting this type of suspicious activity to the police immediately (9-1-1) can prevent crimes and even save lives.

If you have information about arson crimes, contact the police department, or information can also be provided anonymously through the Silent Witness tip line at 78-CRIME (782-7463).

For more information, or to set up a safety or injury prevention class, call Mike Erfert at 928-373-4850.