Several fires in France were allegedly lit by a man who had promised to fight them.
French authorities have detained a volunteer firefighter on suspicion of his intentionally setting fires in the country’s south, according to France 24.
In a statement, Montpellier prosecutor Fabrice Belargent asserted that the thus-far unnamed firefighter admitted to lightning fires on three instances in May and July.
The turncoat firefighter allegedly cited his own family environment in his confession to the police, in addition to a desire for excitement.
“Asked about his motive, he declared that he had done this in order to provoke an intervention by the fire brigade to save him from an oppressive family environment and because of the excitement these interventions caused him,” Belargent said.
The “pyromaniac fireman” allegedly confessed to using a lighter to spark the blazes.
“Adrenaline he called it — these are his own words,” the prosecutor said.
The man’s lawyer confirmed that the volunteer firefighter in being held in custody by an investigating judge ahead of a tentative criminal trial.
An uncommon heatwave in Western Europe has contributed to serious fires in Britain and France.
The man also had a full-time job as a forester — separate from his volunteer firefighter work — with his responsibilities including forest maintenance to prevent wildfires.
The anonymous firefighter’s lawyer stated that the man in his 30’s was ashamed of his own actions and expressed his apologies to the firefighters he volunteered with.
“He apologised to the … firemen who he works with as he calls them his big family. This is someone who is very devoted to his work,” said Marie Bar, the man’s lawyer.
“He finds it hard to explain. In a way he is relieved to have been arrested. He explains it as an addiction.”
It’s common for serial arsonists to cite their own irresistible impulses in the lighting of fires.
“It’s disgusting to have within the organization this type of individual,” former Fire Brigade Col. Ludovic Pinganaud said, adding that within a group of 200,000 volunteer firefighters there would be “some sick people” addicted to fires.
If convicted, the alleged pyromaniac could spend 15 years in a French prison and owe 150,000 euros in fines for his acts.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.