May 17, 2016 10:07 AM by News Staff
Chico Fire Department are keeping their eyes peeled for burning furniture during and after graduation this year, Fire Chief Will Hack announced in a statement.
Firefighters with Chico Fire-Rescue and members of the Fire Investigation Team, many of which are undercover agents, will be using new tactics to target fire bugs in heavily-trafficked and high-hazard areas to bust arson activities. The new tactics will be implemented over the next several days.
The department announced that they fought more than 400 hostile fires last year, many of them intentionally set. Hack said many of the fires were mattresses, couches and dumpster fires.
Fire officials said they big fear is that the burned couches have the potential to surrounding buildings which could be occupied.
“We’re only one bad choice away from tragedy,” Hack said.
Hack said that anyone caught burning furniture will be charged with a felony. He went on to say that if the suspect is a student, the fire department are planning to work with the school to have heavy educational penalties applied to the student in addition to legal charges.
To help combat furniture burning, the City of Chico, Recology, Waste Management and Chico State’s Associated Students will host a furniture recycling program from May 24 to May 26 from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. There will be two locations: one near the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Orange Street and the other at the intersection of West Sacramento Avenue and North Cedar Street. Unwanted furniture, household items, clothing to be properly disposed of free of charge.