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Developer hires security for West Haven property plagued by fires

WEST HAVEN — After two fires, at least one of which was arson, the developer of a planned mall in West Haven has hired private security to monitor the property.

Mayor Nancy Rossi announced that The Haven Group LLC hired the private security company after fires destroyed two long-vacant buildings on the site. The city is not paying for the additional officers, Rossi said.

In a statement on the city’s website, Rossi  said the security company will be on-site Sunday.  The city is not paying for the security. In recent days, the West Haven Police Department has sent officers to monitor the site at the developer’s expense.

The West Haven Fire Department, the fire marshal and the Building Department have been inspecting the properties and will issue a report to the city.

The first fire broke out February 8th in a vacant home on Richards Street, and the exact cause has not yet been determined, although the fire marshal said it’s looked “like an incendiary fire.”.   A week later, the former Bilco company building burned; that fire has been ruled an arson.

Both buildings have stood vacant as a long-planned retail development called “The Haven” has been stalled for various reason.

Rossi said, “The city will also do what is necessary to keep the site safe.”  The city will soon begin street closures for The Haven project, which is required as part of its development agreement with The Haven Group and may make the project more secure.

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