After a series of suspicious fires over the past several months, town officials and police in Enfield held a public meeting Wednesday to address the concerns and answer questions residents had.
Fire and police officials have been investigating the fires, which began in August, and have yet to make an arrest in the cases. The fires were all ruled suspicious and most have been confirmed cases of arson.
The first was at 394 Elm St., and then in early November, a fire was set to a home at 376 Elm St.
Days later, a fire broke out on Martin Terrace and on Nov. 6, a barn fire broke out at 390 Elm St.
The number has since increased to 10 fires, with the latest happening last week.
"This is just not good. It's very unusual and we are afraid," said Robert LaFlamme, of Enfield.
Neighbor Don Niemann said no one knows if or when they will be the next victim, he just happened to be the latest after his tool shed was torched on Friday, with his home just feet away.
"It wasn't vacant, people were living here, that's life-threatening," Niemann said.
Police said they hoped to restore hope, faith and justice during the meeting.
"It's something that we aren't going to abandon until we apprehend the people involved in this. Their safety and their well being is paramount and there's nothing else that matters at this point," Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza said.
Rarely police will discuss ongoing investigations, but in this case they said they couldn't stay silent, especially because it has shaken so many in the area.
"We think it's appropriate to have this meeting to get rid of some of the misinformation that is out there and the tightrope is that we can't speak on things that could compromise the investigation," Sferrazza said.The chief wouldn't go into specifics of the investigation, but said he wants to assure the public that extra patrols and resources are being dedicated to the Elm Street area.
"I think the investigation is ongoing, it's hard to predict when the investigation will end," he said.Many of the arsons have involved vacant buildings, but neighbors are worried more now after Niemann's home was very close.
"Everyone is a victim. Not just you or me, anybody who lives on this street is a victim," Niemann said.
At Wednesday night's meeting, police told residents to keep their car doors and homes locked, and to leave lights on.
"We view this as a threat to your lives, therefore every resource that I have, I have committed to this problem," Sferrazza said.
Many residents said they are just looking for justice and hope their shattered sense of safety can be repaired.
"I feel a lot safer and know this person will eventually be caught," said Andrea Krajewski, of Enfield.
Police said anyone who sees anything suspicious should call them right away.
There is a $2,500 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the person, or persons responsible for these arsons.
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