Report Suspicious Activity
Arson is not a joke or a prank. Setting fires on purpose is a crime that could end with a prison sentence, injury or death. Be aware of the potential danger to property and lives. Teach children not to play with fire. Pay attention to what is happening in your neighborhood. If you see suspicious activity, smell smoke or see something smoldering, let us know.
TO REPORT AN ARSON
Please contact The Mineral Wells Fire Marshal’s Office if you have information leading to the arrest and conviction of person(s) responsible for arson activities in the City of Mineral Wells.
Fire Marshal’s Office: 940-328-7791
Police Department: 940-328-7770
Palo Pinto County Crimestoppers will pay up to $1,000.00 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of anyone committing a felony.
If you have any information, please call: (940) 325-0000.
Juvenile Fire Setters
A fire is reported every three and a half hours in Texas, as a result of, children playing with fire, matches or other fire starting tools.
More people die in fires than in hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and all natural disasters combined. Over half of all arson cases involve preteens. Fires set by preteens kill hundreds of people each year and destroy millions of dollars of property. Firefighters, fire setters and other innocent victims die in these fires.
The first step in solving the juvenile fire setter problem is to better understand which children set fires and why they do it. Juvenile fire setters generally fall into four categories. These categories are explained below.
Types of Fire Setters
o Curiosity / Experimental
o Troubled / Crisis
o Delinquent / Criminal
o Pathological / Emotionally Disturbedo
o Parents / Caregivers
o Available Programs
Types of Fire Setters
Curiosity / Experimental Fire Setters
o Boys and girls ages 2 to 10
o Lack understanding of the destructive potential of fire
o Easy access to lighters, matches or other fire starting tools
Troubled / Crisis Fire Setters
o Mostly boys of all age
o Have usually set two or more fires
o Use fire to express emotions such as anger, sadness, frustration or powerlessness concerning stress or other major changes in their life
o May not understand the consequences of uncontrolled fire
o Most likely will continue to set fires until needs are met or identified
o Known as "cry for help" fire setters
Delinquent / Criminal Fire Setters
o Usually teens with a history of fire setting, gangs, truancy, drug / alcohol use and abuse and other antisocial behavior
o Fires are set with intent to destroy or as acts of vandalism and malicious mischief
o Targets are typically schools, open fields, dumpsters or abandoned buildings
o Crimes may involve restitution and criminal punishment
Pathological / Emotionally Disturbed Fire Setters
o Involves a psychiatric diagnosis
o Fires may be random, ritualized or with specific intent to destroy property
o Chronic history of school, behavioral and social/emotional problems
o Boys and girls of all ages
o Set multiple fires
What can you do?
Parent or Caregiver
You can help lower these occurrences by:
o Teaching young children that fire is a tool, not a toy
o Keeping matches and lighters out of reach, in high, locked cabinets
o Supervising young children at all times
o Teaching young children to tell an adult when they find matches and lighters
o Praising children for practicing responsible behavior and showing respect for fire
o Setting a good example: use matches, lighters and fire carefully and responsibly
o Fire is dangerous and can be deadly
o Even small fires grow and spread quickly
o Never leave the stove, heater or burning candles unattended
o Install, maintain and test smoke alarms
o Plan and practice a home fire escape drill with your family
o Have a designated meeting place outside the home in the event of a fire
o Keep your home safe from fires