Fire Lover: A True Story

FIRE LOVER                                                    JOSEPH WAMBAUGH

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.


This is a true story about John Orr who became a firefighter in Glendale CA. and also an arson investigator. But there came a time when a slew of fires was being started in retail stores, homes, and dry brush areas. After bringing all of the normal suspects it was time to widen the circle. Mr. Wambaugh brings this story to life and for those of us who remember the newspaper, television stories he does a fine job of telling the story. this brought me back to the day when the made the arrest and most people everywhere in the L.A. area could not believe that this respected fire captain was the suspect let alone the actual person. This book will show you a look at the man and a look at his crimes and then the investigation. Overall a good book. I got this book from I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at

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