My brother has always been obsessed with fire. My parents finally learned they could never have any candles in the house, but I’m not sure what took them so long. Michael always took them and burned them immediately in the house or would hide them so he could take them on his next ‘camping’ trip. He was too obsessed with fire to ever forget he had one burning, but there were plenty of scorch marks on the floor in his room for experiments gone wrong.
I tried to get him interested in Boy Scouts so he could actually learn skills other than how to light a fire, but when he learned Boy Scouts wasn’t entirely about fire, he declined and said he had better things to do. I was also hoping as he got older, he would become less interested in fire, but I think he was significantly less vocal about his obsession. As he neared eighteen, he didn’t mention what his plans were after graduating from high school. For his sake, I hoped he was planning on leaving home, but didn’t know if he had a plan and didn’t want him to feel like I was pressuring him . I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when he finally made up his mind and wanted to become a firefighter. He already knew about fire and what made them burn out of control. He never admitted anything after our neighbor’s house burned to the ground, but I knew better.