Backdraft: How Firefighter Arson was Reduced by Admitting, Defining and having Zero-Tolerance for the Problem–A Lesson for the Medical Profession

Disrupted Physician


Firefighter Arson

In his book “Fire Lover: A True Story,” Joseph Wamnaugh profiles Fire Captain and  Senior Arson Investigator for the Glendale California  Fire Department John Orr.  Known for his uncanny instincts in solving arson cases, Orr often astounded other investigators with his seemingly brilliant deductions in determining the causes of incendiary crime.

As it turns out, neither instinct nor brilliance played any role.   Orr solved many of these cases by first-hand  knowledge. He actually started many of the infernos he fought.  Burning down businesses and homes for over a decade, investigators suspect Orr may have intentionally set as many as 2000 fires.

John Orr John Orr

One involved a large Pasadena hardware store that killed four people including a 3-year old toddler and his grandmother. Orr is now serving a life-sentence at Lompoc Penitentiary.  Details of his arsonist acts are described in chilling detail in his own book,  “Points of Origin…playing with fire.”

The problem of arsonist firefighters…

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