Hartford fire officials address arsons

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HARTFORD - Concerned citizens in Hartford got to put some questions to the fire department Saturday -- about a string of fires that were purposely set in abandoned buildings.

The meeting was initially planned to address concerns about recent arson cases but segued into other concerns. Namely - blight.

Community leaders here say too many buildings have fallen into disrepair and are likely fire hazards that should be torn down, but nothing is being done.

Fire Marshal Roger Martin said the department is understaffed.

With a lack of resources, Martin stressed the point of being aware of what's going on in your own neighborhood.

If there are homeless people around taking shelter in abandoned buildings-- residents should call and report them.

For some it's hard to report someone who's down on their luck, but Martin said safety needs to trump everything.

He also said that citizens should push for more funding for a fire department that is under budget constraints.