Don't let arson (or anything else) steal your home

Although the flames outside my kitchen window weren't touching my building, I needed to see only a few puffs of black smoke before remembering my duty as a Christian—not only to call the fire department but also to turn to the highest power I knew, namely God. In spite of an unusual delay in the firemen's arrival and the burning building's lack of an effective alarm system, everyone escaped. The damage, also, was much less than it might have been in this fire, which was apparently set on purpose.

While arson is often viewed primarily as a United States problem—roughly 30 percent of all American fires are deliberately set, and in some cities, this figure can go as high as 60 percent Parade, February 10, 1980. —the elements of arson are universal challenges we all may face, though perhaps in other forms.

The essence of arson is theft: the criminal robs an insurance company of money; the fire robs tenants of their residence and possibly their lives; and a destroyed building may be the first step in depriving a neighborhood of its vitality. And you and I are directly affected by higher insurance premiums, too.

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Inspired treatment
January 12, 1981

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