There is a suspected arsonist(s) on the loose on the Eastern Shore. The news reported last night about a sixty-seventh fire in another abandoned building. These fires are taking a toll on firefighters, firefighters’ families, police officers, fire apparatus, taxpayers, and the economy as a whole. From what I heard last night, all of these fires have occurred in vacant structures. I also believe that I heard that no one has been hurt or killed in any of these fires, to date. The potential exists for firefighters to be hurt responding in their personal vehicles, firefighters to be hurt responding on fire apparatus, firefighters to be hurt while fighting the fires, or the general public to be endangered by all of the above. The bottom line is that this person or persons need to be apprehended before someone does get hurt.
Who is this person? Let’s take a moment and look at what I know about arson fires and the arsonist that sets them.
- There may be a pyromaniac setting these fires. A pyromaniac is one who has an unhealthy love for fire. This person may have started as a juvenile firesetter that was never dealt with as a child. Whoever is setting these fires may be getting a thrill seeing the fires burn, hearing the fire unit’s sirens or both.
- As sad as this may sound, they need to look at those responding to these fires. The arsonist could be a firefighter.
- Though some arson fires are set to cover up another crime, such as burglary or murder, these fires are being set in vacant structures (so far).
- I have to believe that somebody has seen something. The public must be the extended eyes and ears of public safety, reporting anything unusual.
- There is probably a pattern to these fires. Of what little I have heard, they are being set in vacant buildings at night with no apparent accidental cause. Investigators may have found something in these fires that ties them to the same person or persons. The danger also exists for there to be copy cat arsonists as well.
- Some arsonists are hired by others to burn a building that may be headed for foreclosure, or the arsonist may be the building owner. These fires are intended to destroy so that insurance money might be received.
- Some arsonists set traps for firefighters. We recently saw on the news, the individual who set the fire to draw firefighters to the scene, and then started shooting them as they arrived. Other times, arsonists sabotage buildings before starting the fire. Of what I saw on the news, firefighters are fighting these fires in the defensive mode, which is the smartest approach. “Risk a lot to safe a life; risk little to save little, risk nothing to save nothing.”
I pray that this person is caught before a public safety worker or a citizen gets needlessly injured or killed. As the firefighter stated on the news last night, these fires have disrupted their lives and their families’ lives. They are tired and want it to end. This person must be caught. What will this person do when he or she has burned every abandoned building on the Eastern Shore? To citizens that see or hear something that doesn’t sound or look right, report it to the local authorities; your information may be unimportant or it could be the piece of the puzzle that investigators have been looking for.