Published: Sep 30, 2010 10:46 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 30, 2010 7:36 PM EDT

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - "There's a lot of foreclosed homes that are being left  and abandoned," said Lehigh Acres Fire Chief Diana Watson.

Neighbors on Alabama Street in Lehigh Acres know that all too well.

Now firefighters there will bring lawnmowers with them on duty. In their spare time they'll cut back overgrown shrubs. The fire chief says abandoned homes tip off squatters, thieves, and arsonists. This way, firefighters will help the community and themselves.

Some residents wonder how the department can do it with the recent layoffs. But the chief says a new grant has them back at full staff. Neighbors near the foreclosed homes are all for it.  

"It cleans it up a little more. The neighborhood starts looking better," said Johanna Bolduc.