BALTIMORE – In any given week, there are headlines across the country about firefighters setting fires.
But, the problem is not a new one.
The issue dates back to at least the early 1800s, Montgomery Township, Pa. Fire Chief Bill Wiegman told attendees at Firehouse Expo recently.
Just how many fires are being set by those who don gear to extinguish them is not really known as there is no national data collection system, the chief said.
“We need a better source for collecting data,” Wiegman said, adding that until that occurs, the magnitude of the problem still remains a mystery.
Among the motives for firefighter arsons include vandalism, excitement, revenge, concealment, profit and extremism. The chief said they also want to be viewed as a hero for helping extinguish the fire.
“Once they start,” he said. “It’s difficult to stop them. There’s an inner drive or impulse that causes a person to do something or act in a certain way…”
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