Arsons increasing in Jackson - - Jackson, MS

Arsons increasing in Jackson

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Fire starters, or arsons, are up significantly in the City of Jackson. Investigators have a burning desire to figure out why fires are intentionally being set.

Chief Investigator Greg Travis says people are purposely setting homes on fire, in hopes of getting fast cash.

WLBT has captured numerous fires burning in the City of Jackson since the start of the new year. Most recently a house fire off North Park Drive early Thursday morning.

Since January of this year, Jackson firefighters have battled 171 fires.

The number has gone up in comparison to 2013. In 2013, firefighters battled 147 fires from January through the month of June.

Travis says, "Well, this year we have had a significant amount of fires that the investigators have responded to. The majority of the fires have been incendiaries fires which means they were intentionally set by someone."

Burning flames and smoke are destroying homes.

Travis says since January the city has seen more than 20 fires per month. He believes some of these fires are set in revenge, while others are set in hopes of someone receiving a lump some of money.

Travis says, "The owner themselves will either set the fire or they will pay someone to set the fire in an effort to gain profit from it. Property owners do have insurance on their properties and they will receive dividends from the insurance company."

Travis says he has seen these types of fires happen repeatedly in the city this year and much more than in previous years.

Travis says, "We do work very diligently in trying to solve those cases. We have had a very good number of those fires where the insurance claims were denied."

Due to thorough investigations, that information is sent to the Grand Jury for indictments.

Chief Travis blames some of the arsons on the economic downturn.


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