“What is your name? Are you listening, do you hear me?” The soldier shook the young man’s shoulders trying to determine if he was alive or dead. The way he just laid there staring, the soldier was certain he had something to do with the disaster. “Tell me, what is your name, what were you doing here?”
Peter just laid there, he couldn’t speak. His throat and lips were parched by the smoke.He didn’t mean to start it, not really. Should he confess right now to this man shaking him, tell him it was he who started the fire?
The National Guard had been called in to rescue homes and people, set up barrier trenches to stop the spread, but the pine forest was already destroyed. Beautiful homes and cabins in the wooded area were all gone. There were no casualties yet, but not everyone had been found.
Starting the fire seemed like just an ordinary act to Peter. He had always had a fascination for the flames and this camping trip allowed him to build a fire in the open and enjoy it. He couldn’t afford a living space with a fireplace, so on the weekends he would go anywhere partially secluded to feed his desire to see fire and flames.
Most times he was perfectly safe in doing so but this night had been different. After lighting the fire he grew impatient for the spectacle and threw on some gasoline he had in the truck for emergencies. A sudden gust of wind and the flames travelled to the trees. Peter didn’t expect such an explosion when the gasoline flames flowed back to the can. It knocked him back and that’s where he was when the soldiers found him.
The soldiers took a look around and waited for the firefighters to confirm that was the origin of the fire. Peter was taken into custody and later assigned to a mental hospital for observation.