A firefighter from the south of France is accountable for a collection of wildfires within the area which he began in a quest for adrenaline, French authorities have mentioned.
The person, a volunteer firefighter from the Herault area, was arrested on Wednesday, regional prosecutors mentioned.
The case of the person referred to as the “pyromaniac fireman” by French media has sparked a eager curiosity in France, which was shocked by a swathe of wildfires throughout final week’s heatwave that pressured the evacuation of hundreds of individuals.
Montpellier prosecutor Fabrice Belargent mentioned in a press release that the person had admitted beginning fires with a lighter on 26 Might, 21 July and most lately over the night time of 26-27 July.
“Requested about his motive, he declared that he had completed this with a view to provoke an intervention by the hearth brigade to avoid wasting him from an oppressive household atmosphere and due to the joy these interventions precipitated him,” mentioned Belargent.
“Adrenaline he referred to as it – these are his personal phrases,” mentioned the prosecutor. “He additionally mentioned he had a necessity for social recognition.”
The person, who’s in his 30s however has not been named, works full-time as a forester, with stopping fires one among his major obligations.
His lawyer, Marie Bar, advised BFM TV that underneath questioning the person had “expressed very robust remorse and above all a robust sentiment of disgrace”.
She confirmed he had been remanded in custody by an investigating choose forward of trial.
“He apologised to the … firemen who he works with as he calls them his large household. That is somebody who may be very dedicated to his work,” she mentioned.
“He finds it onerous to clarify. In a method he’s relieved to have been arrested. He explains it as an habit.”
If convicted, he faces as much as 15 years in jail and a €150,000 (£125,000) high-quality.
“It’s disgusting to have inside the organisation this sort of particular person,” former fireplace brigade colonel Ludovic Pinganaud advised BFM, including that out of 200,000 volunteer firefighters in France there have been simply “some sick individuals” hooked on fires.