There was a lot of fear in the room when a town hall meeting was held this past week regarding the arson fires in the city's West End.
When there are 11 arsons in a six- to seven-block area in seven weeks, some jitters among the residential public are understandable.
"I'm frightened," said one resident, bluntly summing up what it's like to be a resident of the arson-impacted area of the West End these days.
It would be nice to answer those jitters and fears with sure-fire solutions.
But arson is among the most difficult of crimes to solve.
It requires stark, physical evidence and perhaps eyewitness accounts to give investigators the ammunition they need to solve arsons.
Police and fire investigators rolled out the predictable requests to those in attendance: Call 911 right away when you see or hear something suspicious; be the eyes and ears for police and fire investigators; keep lights on; and keep properties clear of debris and flammable materials.
It all sounds so routine. And yet, that game plan for the public probably holds the answer to solving this fearful arson spree.