Program note: California investigators are trying to track down a suspected arsonist who may have set one of the current wildfires burning. Watch Ted Rowlands' full report on how a community tracked down a serial arsonist; along with Ted's jailhouse interview with the man whose compulsion destroyed hundreds of homes and terrified thousands of people.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/10/23/california.fires.ap/art.california.fire.one.ap.jpg caption="Firefighters battle a wildfire that broke out early Thursday morning in the western part of Los Angeles, California. "]
CNN Los Angeles Correspondent
Who starts fires for thrills? Wade Kirkwood does. We met Kirkwood in prison, where he's serving a nine year sentence in Washington State for setting 11 fires in 2004.
Kirkwood told us he's had the urge to set fires since he was a teenager, he says the rush he gets from setting a blaze is better than anything he's ever felt.
I understand on some level the motivations for a lot of different crimes, but arson has always been difficult for me to appreciate, until I met Wade Kirkwood.
There's no doubt in my mind that this guy, and I assume other arsonists, are wired differently. Wade Kirkwood loves everything about setting fires, he says he likes planning them, lighting them and watching them.
Kirkwood is clearly dealing with demons that most people will never face. He told us that he's getting help in prison, but admitted to us that he still gets excited seeing fire on the news.
About a week after the interview Kirkwood sent us a letter saying he'd like people to write to him with questions or comments.
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