crime of willfully and maliciously setting fire to property

Arson is a crime. When someone deliberately sets fire to anything (such as a building or vehicle) they do not own and they want to cause damage, it is called arson. A person who commits arson is an arsonist. Arsonists usually use gasoline or kerosene to start a fire.

The Skyline Parkway Motel in Afton, Virginia after an arson fire on July 9, 2004.

Arsonists use matches, Molotov cocktails and fire starters to start a fire. Arson is common in violent protests and retaliations against the government and other powers.

Arsonists deliberately burn things for benefits that they want.[1] This includes personal reasons, reasons related to money, or political reasons.[1]

Julio Gonzalez became one of the most prolific arsonists in history when he set fire to the Happy Land nightclub with only 6 of the 93 occupants making it out alive. Julio started the fire after the bouncer kicked him out late in the evening due to him quarreling with his girlfriend Lydia Feliciano after she recently quit her job there. She was one of the 6 people to survive the fire. The club also came under fire due to the club having no fire escapes or sprinklers.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Robert E. Hales (2008). "Impulse Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified". In Stuart C. Yudofsky; Glen O. Gabbard (eds.). The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. American Psychiatric Pub. p. 793. ISBN 9781585622573.