Saturday, March 25, 2006

Fire Bugs...

My father-in-law, the ex-firefighter calls them fire bugs. Police and investigators call them arsonists. I call them insane.

On my way home from work Thursday, I was keeping my best friend company via mobile phone. She too was on her way home. We live about a mile apart. About the same time, we both noticed really black plumes of smoke coming from the general area of our homes. And like the typical paranoid women we are, we panicked thinking it had to be one of our homes.

I got home first, relieved to find my home still in tact and Buckley cheerfully waiting for me at the door. The smoke was in the general direction of my friend's home, so I stayed on the phone with her. I could hear fire engines and sirens.

She got home to a perfectly intact home as well. It turns out that the fire was directly between our homes. Even worse, it turned out that it was six homes on fire. Then we got the news that it hadn't been some stupid error, but a case of arson. In fact, authorities believe the arsonist (a woman or a man dressed aas a woman) struck another home in our general area several hours before. However, that fire was stopped before it got out of control.

I live less than a mile from the closest fire department. There's another just over a mile away. So, obviously it took a while for this fire to be caught and an accelerant had been used.

Now, today there's been another fire. This one a little further from our homes, but no less upsetting.

As I watch these families grieve their losses, which include pets that were seen running from the flames, and pets that have not been accounted for, I have to wonder what makes a person do this sort of thing. It's not just a need to make sense of it. It's also a deeper need to understand what makes someone like that tick.

I took a few psych courses on criminal profiling while in college. And I realize there's a difference between an arsonist who sets fires to occupied homes and one who sets fire to unoccupied buildings. But I just can't fathom what was going through this woman's or man's head when she/he did it.

And now I wonder what made her/him pick those homes? Both targets on Thursday were in the middle of established neighborhoods (unsure of today's, details are stilling coming in). Much like our home. It's sort of creepy and it makes me wonder if it was a personal issue or if it was random and anyone could be next.

So, what are your thoughts? What sort of mind set drives a person like this?



Michelle said...

OMG, how frightening! Hope they catch her/him/whoever. That's just awful. Who knows why a person feels the need to destroy another person's home? Maybe jealousy. I don't know. Either way, hugs, and thank goodness it wasn't your house!

Stacy Dawn said...

(((April))) that is scarey being so close and not knowing the reasons. The sad part is that even if they catch the guy they might never know. If he's looped then he'll have his own morbid reasoning.

Here's hoping you and yours stay safe!

Kayla said...

Wow. Sounds like a crime novel gone awry...

*hugs* I hope they catch the loser soon.

Emma Sinclair said...

I do love to think about what makes a person do things like that (I love watching true crime shows), but I'm sure it's very different to think about it abstractly, and to think about it when homes near you are burning.

Stay safe and (((Hugs)))

Nicole Reising said...

Oh April!!! I'm so sorry to hear such news! You'll be in my prayers that everything/everyone stays safe!

I hope that your feeling better too!


April said...

Thanks, Michelle, Stacy, Kayla, Emma, & Cole.

Good point, Stacy. It's really weird. It seems totally random, but there has to be somme order to it.

I love true crime shows too, Emma! Which sometimes gives me cause for concern :-)