1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up arsonist who want attention

    we have a young man in our district who we belive is setting fires around his home. he will set a small fire in the trash can then wake everyone up and then call the fire department. before we get there he has already extinguished the fire. we believe that he wants to be the hero, but he lives in a house with about 8 other people, most of whom are mentally challenged. luckily no one has been hurt. what should we do?


  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Try talking to the person in charge of the house, and set up a "fire safety talk" for the whole group. That way you're not singling out anyone, but getting the message across.

  3. #3
    George Wendt, CFI
    Firehouse.com Guest


    There are people's lives at stake. I assume by "young man", you mean an individual who is old enough to know right from wrong. This guy is commiting a crime. Let the local law enforcement people have all the info that you have and let them do their job. Firesetting is a behavior that will only escalate over time. There is a very real chance that this guy will kill someone. He belongs either in jail or a juvenile detention facility. Fuzzy, feel good fire safety talks are for after he is arrested and evaluated by a mental health professional.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    You should refer the individual to either law enforcement or if you have a juvenile firesetter program you can refer them that way. If you need guidance you can contact me at 303-670-5530

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    As a juvenile firesetter educator, I'm not sure that he is a good candidate for the educational process. He either doesn't understand the risks he's taking or doesn't care. If he has mental health problems, the best thing for him would be to notify law enforcement. He may light trash cans today, but tommorrow it may be his bed or room. The juvenile firesetter educaiton would be a good follow-up, after he has to face the consequences for his continuing actions. Good luck and take care.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I would try the juvenile firesetter program, you need to have a talk with this person. I have a program call the Firewatch prgram that helps with all the interviews and score the person as to what type of help the person needs.
    If you need to contact me at 973-882-2740
    William F. Smith, Chief

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    He sounds like he meets the profile for the recognition fire setter. One way i've seen this handled is to make the expierience for him demeaning. Scorn rather than praise should be applied or at least indiference on the part of the fire fighters. Make a recommendation for psychiatric evaluation this may be a symptom of a larger problem.

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