Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Marcelo Castro

Committee Member

Steven Hecht

Committee Member

Robert Stephens, Jr.


Hidden within the day-to-day routine responses of fire departments are possible multiple fires set by individuals in a small area with an unusual frequency. These fires may be the initial announcement of an emerging serial offender who is declaring a wound, an intolerable life situation, or is triggered by unknown events. This study sought to predict incendiary fires within a known cluster by using observable variables, both prior to and after the cluster event. This was done to further our understanding of the characteristics of clusters of intentionally lit fires. This was accomplished by examining the Florida Fire Information Reports (FFIRS) from the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Division and the Augmented Criminal Information (ACISS) reports provided by the Florida Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives Investigation from 1996 to 2018. The study surveyed 1,260,369 records from which 45 clusters comprised of 1216 individual fire events were used.