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Understanding The Enemy: Profiles and Motivations of an Arsonist

Kendra Weikman | - For sources, see Editor's note.

Troubled Fire Setter:

• Usually has a history of fire setting and has experienced a recent crisis or trauma.
• They have poor coping skills, lack problem solving skills and are unable to express or identify with feelings.
• They show a lack of appropriate remorse after setting a fire.
• Will often deny or lie about the cause of the fire.

Fire setting behavior:

• Typically uses matches or lighters and ignites relatively unsophisticated fires.
• Fires are often motivated by frustration and may be a cry for help and or symbolic of a crisis.

Family or Social Dynamics:

• Comes from various types of households, but they usually are raised in a chaotic environment.
• It is possible that there have been instances of neglect or abuse.
• Have easy access to sources of ignition and a general lack of safety awareness.

Next: The Delinquent Fire Starter

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