COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - New charges for suspected fire starter, Michael Dornal. The 27 year old is now being linked to eight fires in Canon City and Florence last month. The fires were started in trash cans. Two of the fires caused damage to nearby garages. No one was seriously hurt.
Colorado Springs has a program called Fire Factor. It's for juveniles from the ages of ten to 18 years old. This program is for kids who have been accused of the misuse of fire. Last year, 200 children went through this program that started in 1994.
Kathy Hook is with the Colorado Springs Fire Department and is linked to the program. She told me that Fire Factor is a program that educates youth about the dangers of fire setting and educates their parents about how to combat and stop these potentially dangerous behaviors. Kathy tells me this program can be a lifesaver for these kids, "It's a cry for help and it's really gratifying for the fire fighters and the whole team to be able to get that youth the help they need."
Hook says there are some potentially common threads when it comes to juvenile fire starters. Most of these fire bugs are male and 10-17 years old. These children don't have enough parental attention, too much access to things that start fires and too much time on the internet. The internet aspect that's a concern for fire experts is simple says Kathy Hook, "They see things on the internet that seem really edgy but what the don't see is the consequence of the misuse of fire."