Various motives behind arson

The motivations behind the burning of homes are curiosity, vandalism, concealing another crime, excitement, revenge and insurance fraud or arson for profit.

Curiosity fires are most often set by juveniles. The misuse of fire has many variables including age, motivation for firesetting behavior, type of fires set, ignition materials used to set the fire, and the child’s understanding and limitations of fire. Firesetting behavior is often a symptom of the problem and may be manifested through stress and crisis in children’s lives.

Vandalism or the criminal offense of malicious mischief can be the result of boredom, peer pressure or even gang activity. Vandalism is most common at abandoned or vacant homes. According to interFire, an online resource for arson investigation, whether the buildings are abandoned or vacant, more than 70 percent of the fires occurring in them are incendiary or suspicious.

Arson is sometimes used to mask or conceal another crime such as murder. The criminal sets the crime scene ablaze hoping that the victim’s death will be attributed to the fire and not murder.