Tuesday morning, election day. I got up this morning at my usual 5:00 AM fully expecting more political rhetoric from pundits on either side of the ballot. My thinking was that there was too much hope on the Republican side. Polls may not be as accurate as some pollster’s thought. There are a lot of similarities with weather forecasters; no matter how wrong they are, they still get paid. Some voters will be happy while others will be disappointed. I don’t believe that the country is ready to support a complete rout of the Democratic party.
I then turned on the early news, instead of politics, a church was burning! The reports came in, there had been seven fires called in since the first at 2:45 am. Two were churches, the Epiphany Lutheran Church and the Greater Bethlehem Temple Church. The fires were concentrated around the Jackson State University. Three old homes, one gas station and a baseball field on the Jackson State campus. That’s where twisted minds come in.
We have to assume that the fires have been set maliciously by one or more arsonists. The churches were not polling locations eliminating in my mind any political motivation, still we know that some churches are bastions of political inspiration. On the good side, as of right now there are no reported injuries from fire fighters or the residents.
What is the fascination with fire? As children we played with matches; if we couldn’t get our hands on matches, we had make-believe fires. The saner of us have something called a burn-pit to sit around in the winter or we can stare at a dancing fire in the fireplace if we are fortunate enough to have one. When we hear the sirens of a fire engine, people rush to the window to see if there is anything to actually see.
Pyromania is considered to be a psychiatric disorder generally tied to another psychiatric issue. It can also have a hereditary or genetic component perhaps due to severe stress. While arson is a criminal action intended to cause damage and harm.
I don’t intend for this to be a treatise on arson or pyromania since I am neither a psychiatrist nor a psychologist still, I am interested in what makes people tick. So why do people start fires?
The thought at this time is that the fires were set by one individual without speculation as to the reasoning behind those actions. We know that it caused irreparable damage to those six structures. We have no word yet as to what burned on the baseball field of Jackson State University. We hope that the individual or individuals will be apprehended before more fires are set.
(Note before press time: a suspect was arrested!)