Program aims to curb arson fires by young people

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — Columbia Gas of Massachusetts has donated $5,000 to an organization that offers education and intervention to children who set fires.

NoFIRES, a nonprofit, was developed in 2012 by the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, fire and law enforcement officials, mental health care providers and social service agencies. The program offers help to children ages 5 to 17 in 51 communities in western Massachusetts. During the 18 months the program has been operating, it has received more than 85 referrals.

The $5,000 donation from Columbia Gas will be used to conduct in-home screenings and to offer a fire education safety course to young people with fire-setting behaviors.

NoFIRES is one of the only programs available in the state for juveniles who have engaged in fire-related behavior.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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