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French firefighter admits to setting many fires over the summer

A 37-year-old volunteer firefighter in France has admitted to being behind several fires that started earlier this year in May and July, claiming he committed the acts for “adrenaline” and to get away from his family.

The firefighter was arrested last Wednesday by French police after he was seen near the site of several fires in the commune of Saint-Jean-de-la-Blaquière and a day later admitted not only that he had set fires in the area in July. but he had also set fires in May in Saint-Private.

While in police custody, the firefighter explained that he had been setting fires for the past three years and had done so because of the “adrenaline” and investigators said he wanted to “cause firefighting operations to escape an oppressive family environment,” broadcaster RFI References.

On Sunday, the man, who also served as deputy mayor in Saint-Jean-de-la-Blaquière and as a forest officer, claimed to have set at least eight fires since May this year and his lawyer Marion Barre. talk to the France Bleu television station about the case.

“He’s having a hard time explaining it. He already says that it is an addiction in the same way as cigarettes or drugs or alcohol. He must light fires, he must see fire. And the second is that it also allowed him to have adrenaline rushes. It’s something that’s needed,” Barre said.

According to Barre, the firefighter claimed he was relieved the police caught him saying, “because as with all addictions, there’s a moment when we’re aware of what we’re doing, we know what’s wrong and we can’t stop ourselves. He couldn’t stop. The way he stops is absolutely dramatic, of course. But he is relieved that there is an end to all these acts that have been committed.”

The firefighter’s arrest comes days after French authorities arrested another man near Bordeaux over a large fire believed to have been deliberately started.

Other European countries have also experienced major forest fires this summer, including Greece where nine suspected arsonists were arrested in relation to starting fires either intentionally or negligently in recent days.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email ctomlinson(at)

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