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COMING SUNDAY: Arson in America: What's the alarming reality?

Posted at 11:45 AM, Nov 21, 2013
and last updated 2014-12-10 18:09:38-05

Arson is far more common and dangerous in America than reported or realized, a new Scripps investigation shows.

Those arson numbers affect how much you pay for insurance, how your tax dollars are spent and, ultimately, whether your family is safe.

Miguel Chan lives every day honoring a promise he made to his wife Luisa as smoke filled their Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment -- take care of our children.

As flames blocked the family’s escape that freezing night in January 2010, Chan made a difficult decision. He smashed a window and tossed his two children -- one a preschooler, one just an infant -- out of the apartment’s third-story window to the street below. He prayed someone would catch them.

Chan narrowly escaped the burning building, but Luisa died, along with four others, in a blaze that also injured 14 firefighters.

A suspect was arrested and convicted of arson and murder. But this deadly event was never reported as arson to the federal government.

In a groundbreaking national investigation, Scripps News reporter Thomas Hargrove has uncovered that arson is far more common than what our statistics show today, and that has an effect on many parts of our lives that you may not even realize.

We hope you'll join us for our year-in-the-making report, Arson in America: The Alarming Reality, starting this Sunday, November 24, across all of our platforms.