LANSING (WKZO) -- Governor Rick Snyder has declared this Arson Awareness Week in Michigan. Mike McLeieer, with the fire prevention group ESCAPE, says that the most common cause of arson isn't insurance fraud. Actually, it's revenge.
"Revenge certainly is the leading reason for arsons, and unfortunately, people don't always think about the outcomes," McLeieer told WKZO. "They get mad in the heat of the moment, and they use that fire or commit the crime and don't think of the outcome. There are great technologies and great forensic science out there that can actually uncover and discover what the cause and the origin of the fire was."
That's why, he says, arson is rarely a crime that pays. McLeieer notes that even a small intentionally set fire can quickly get out of control and result in tragedy, so it's important that any fire suspected of being an arson be reported to police immediately. With Arson Awareness Week, the Snyder administration is targeting vehicle arsons, in particular, due to how quickly they become dangerous. Michigan in recent years has increased the penalties for those convicted of an arson in an effort to crack down on such crimes.