With the falling housing prices and forclosures on the rise, there is a potential for one heck of a spike in suspicious fires, particularly involving folks whose homes are about to be foreclosed and their financial backs are against the walls. This is something I believe that fire departments, both paid and volunteer, should be concerned about. Many of these people also have homeowner's insurance and are being pushed to the brink by both falling prices (meaning the house is extremely difficult if not impossible to sell) and mortgage payments that went through the roof, making for a recipe for a very desperate situation that could lead to various desperate measures, including the place getting lit. This is something that every fire chief and his assistance worth their salt should be monitoring as closely as they can, for the longer the housing market remains in such a mess that it is in and with foreclosures on the rise or becoming increasingly likely, the more desperate homeowners are going to become. If the fire department has an arson investigation unit, then its chief officer and his staff ought to be monitoring the foreclosure situation closely, given the state of the nation's economy, those folks in the most desperate financial shape are the most likely to resort to desperate measures including those that involve trying to cash in on insurance that they may have by whatever means is necessary in order to get out of the bind. In the cases of some of our older cities in upstate New York, such as Buffalo and Rochester, which already get their share of suspicious fires, their top officers would do well to watch for an unsusual spike in houses suddenly catching fire and becoming fully involved before the first engine and/or truck company arrives, as this is likely to be a most unwanted side effect of a housing market that is becoming increasingly depressed and desperate people are being pushed against the wall by increasingly higher mortage payments that they are no longer able to make together with the damage to a credit rating that a bankruptcy could do and you have a recipe for needless disaster, not to mention needless risk of life and limb to the responders who answer the call. I am going to prepare a special report for my chief and our line officers on this topic. I don't want to see anymore Donny Herbert type tragedies in any FD. It is time to nip this tragic nonsense in the bud before it has a chance to g et going.