The new campaign will also include posters at locations of suspicious fires.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- District Attorney Matthew T. Mangino has launched a tip line as part of an arson-awareness campaign in Lawrence County.
Residents can call (724) 944-5164 to anonymously report information regarding suspicious fires.
According to Mangino, a recent study indicates that up to 60 percent of local fires were labeled as arson. Nationwide, arson accounts for 267,000 fires each year, which cause $1.4 billion in property loss and about 500 deaths annually.
In 2004 alone, more than 600 individuals in Pennsylvania were charged with this crime.
"Private citizens are key to solving arson crimes," Mangino said.
In a public-service announcement that airs throughout January, Mangino asks county residents to help "snuff out arson-for-profit in Lawrence County."
"If you're aware of arson or other suspicious activities," Mangino says, "call (724) 944-5164 anonymously, 24 hours a day, without fear of reprisal."
The campaign includes posters that will be distributed through local police and fire departments, and will be utilized to obtain information at the location of all suspicious fires.
The District Attorney's Arson Investigation Team was formed in August 2002. It is a network of local law enforcement officers who work with the Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal to investigate arson cases within the county.
The Arson Investigation Team and awareness campaign are made possible through a grant from the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority.