Fire Lover: A True Story

by Joseph Wambaugh

On an October evening in South Pasadena, a horrifying wave of flame swept through a large home improvement center, snuffing out the lives of four innocent people, including a two-year-old boy. Firefighters rushed to the scene, even as a pair of equally suspicious fires broke out in two nearby stores. Silently watching the raging inferno in the midst of the heat, smoke, and chaos was a man respected as one of California's foremost arson investigators, a captain in the Glendale Fire Department ...

From Joseph Wambaugh, the critically acclaimed, nationally bestselling author of The Onion Field, comes the astonishing true story of a nightmarish obsession -- and the hunt for a brilliant psychopath who lived a double life filled with professional tributes and terrifying secrets.

From Joseph Wambaugh, the bestselling author of such classics as The Onion Field and The Choirboys, comes the extraordinary story of the chase for the “Pillow Pyro,” led by one ambitious firefighter.

Growing up in Los Angeles, John Orr idolized law enforcement. However, after being rejected by both the LAPD and LAFD, he settled for a position with the Glendale Fire Department. There, he rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a fire captain and one of Southern California’s best-known and most respected arson investigators. But Orr led another, unseen life, one that included womanizing and an insatiable thirst for recognition.

While Orr busted a slew of petty arsonists, there was one serial criminal he could not track down. Nothing was safe from the so-called Pillow Pyro’s obsession. Homes, retail stores, and fields of dry brush all went up in flames. His handiwork led to millions of dollars worth of property damage and the deaths of four innocent bystanders. But after years of evading the police, he made a mistake—one that would turn Orr’s life upside down.

Year First Published:2002
Non-Fiction

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