State officials are stressing the problems caused for victims as they recognize “Arson Awareness Week” this week. Robert Hansen is the spokesperson for the State Fire Marshal’s office. He says arson impacts people in a great many ways, from death and injuries to just losing their home. Hansen says fire inspectors investigated 162 arsons last year.He says those are just the fires investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s Office that were suspicious or proven to be arson. He says three people were killed in the fires and it cost Iowans seven million dollars. Hansen says you can help stop arson by being aware of what’s going on around you. He says the leading motive for arson fires in 2002 was vandalism or revenge, and he says if you have a problem with someone, you should get it documented. Hansen says reports by citizens can help solve arson cases, or prevent them altogether. He says if you see someone acting suspiciously, call your local police department and get it checked out. You can also call the Arson Hotline at 800-532-1459.
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