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Arson causes an estimated $1 million in fire loss annually in Fort Worth

Posted May 8, 2019

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a boarded up building
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The Fort Worth Fire Department is targeting arson at vacant and abandoned buildings this year in an effort to reduce property loss, deaths and firefighter injury.

An estimated 23,800 vacant residential building fires are reported annually in the United States. This accounts for 6 percent of all residential building fires, resulting in an estimated 75 deaths, 200 injuries and $785 million in property loss each year.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, vacant and abandoned building fires also cause a disproportionate share of firefighter injuries. These buildings can have a negative impact on a community’s image. They may result in increased criminal activity and other public safety problems.

More than 72 percent of fires reported in vacant or abandoned structures are of incendiary or suspicious origin, and an additional 5 percent of the fires result from children playing with matches.

In Fort Worth, fires in vacant and abandoned buildings are consistent with national statistics (6.7 percent in 2017), but declined in 2018 (1.6 percent). In 2019, these types of fires are once again trending with national statistics (5.4 percent).

Arson causes an estimated $1 million in fire loss annually in Fort Worth. Each year, investigators are requested to conduct an origin and cause investigation at approximately 600 fires.

Fort Worth employs 21 members in its arson/bomb squad. This team provides 24-hour response, scene processing, case follow-up, expert testimony and K9 capabilities for arson and bomb incidents. Each member is state-certified as a firefighter, police officer and EMT/paramedic.

The most common property types for arson are vehicle (50 percent), residential (32 percent) and commercial (15 percent). The most common motives are revenge and insurance fraud.

Arson is a felony offense in Texas. Residents can help reduce arson at vacant and abandoned buildings by reporting suspicious activities or actions to local law enforcement or by providing specific information on any arson incident to Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS. Callers may remain anonymous.

In addition, code violations can be reported to the city’s Code Compliance Department at 817-392-1234.

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Thanksgiving Food Drive at Riverside Community Center: noon Nov. 19, 2019; Riverside Community Center, 3700 E. Belknap.

Canceled Fort Worth Local Development Corporation Meeting: 2 p.m. Nov. 19, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled Central City Local Government Corporation Meeting: 2 p.m. Nov. 19, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled AllianceAirport Authority Meeting: 2 p.m. Nov. 19, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled Lone Star Local Government Corporation Meeting: 2 p.m. Nov. 19, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Nov. 19, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City of Fort Worth Firefighters' & Police Officers' Civil Service Commission: 6 p.m. Nov. 19, 2019; Bob Bolen Safety Complex, Auditorium, 505 W Felix St.
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Global Entrepreneurship Week: Growing Your Small Business With PeopleFund: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19, 2019; Shamblee Branch, Fort Worth Public Library, 1062 Evans Ave.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Nov. 19, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Disciplinary Appeal of Indefinite Suspension of Hans Fellhauer: 9 a.m. Nov. 20, 2019; Bob Bolen Safety Complex, Classroom No. 1134, 505 W. Felix St.
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Commercial Board of Adjustment Work Session: 9 a.m. Nov. 20, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Thanksgiving Luncheon at Eugene McCray Community Center: 10 a.m. Nov. 20, 2019; Eugene McCray Community Center, 4932 Wilbarger St.

Commercial Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 10 a.m. Nov. 20, 2019; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Txeas St.
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Residential Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Nov. 20, 2019; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Police Monitor Candiate Forum: 6 p.m. Nov. 20, 2019; Fort Worth Central Library, 500 W Third S.

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Keller Hicks Road Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20, 2019; Villages of Woodland Springs Amenities Cener, 12209 Timberland Road.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Como Community Center: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20, 2019; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

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Global Entrepreneurship Week: Beyond a Marketing Presentation: 8 a.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Disciplinary Appeal of Indefinite Suspension of Hans Fellhauer: 9 a.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Classroom No. 1134, 505 W. Felix St.
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Thanksgiving Luncheon at Southside Community Center: 11 a.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale.

Thanksgiving Luncheon at MLK Jr Community Center: 11:30 a.m. Nov. 21, 2019; MLK Jr. Community Center, 5565 Truman Drive.

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Sustainability in Healthcare - Global, Regional and Campus Perspectives: noon Nov. 21, 2019; Center for Biohealth, 3432 Camp Bowie Blvd.
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Community Action Partners (CAP) Council Meeting: 1:30 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Fort Worth City Credit Union, 1st Floor Board Room, 2309 Montgomery St.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Fort Worth Housing Solutions Administrative Office, Board Room, 1201 East 13th St.
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Chisholm V Corporation Board of Directors Special Meeting: 5 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Fort Worth Housing Solutions Administrative Office, Board Room, 1201 East 13th St.
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Trinity River Public facility Corporation Board of Directors Special Meeting: 5 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Fort Worth Housing Solutions Administrative Office, Board Room, 1201 East 13th St.
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Ironwood Crossing Public Facility Corporation Board of Directors Special Meeting: 5 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Fort Worth Housing Solutions Administrative Office, Board Room, 1201 East 13th St.
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Fort Worth Affordability, Inc. Board of Directors Special Meeting: 5 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Fort Worth Housing Solutions Administrative Office, Board Room, 1201 East 13th St.
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Hillside Public Facility Corporation Board of Directors Annual Meeting: 5 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Fort Worth Housing Solutions Administrative Office, Board Room, 1201 East 13th St.
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Transit Moves: 5:30 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019; TCC Opportunity Center, 5901 Fitzhugh Ave.

Fort Worth Art Commission Special Called Meeting: 6 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, Room 201AB, 818 Missouri Ave.
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Thanksgiving Dinner at Fire Station Community Center: 6 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Fire Station Community Center, 1601 Lipscomb St.

Animal Shelter Advisory Committee Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019; Animal Care & Control Center, 5000 Martin Luther King Freeway.
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Municipal Court Hearing: 8:30 a.m. Nov. 22, 2019; Southwest Municipal Court, Court No. 9, 3741 S W Loop 820.
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Thanksgiving Dinner at Diamond Hill Community Center: 5 p.m. Nov. 22, 2019; Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 NE 36th St.

Thanksgiving Holiday Dance at Greenbriar Community Center: 6 p.m. Nov. 22, 2019; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill.

Turkey Bingo at Andrew Doc Session Community Center: 6 p.m. Nov. 22, 2019; Andrew Doc Session Community Center, 201 S. Sylvania Ave.

International Doctor Who Day: Nov. 23, 2019; Fort Worth Public Library.

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