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State Fire Marshal

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

For Mental Health Professionals

General Information

It is important for health care providers to know that children who start fires can attend a Youth Firesetting Prevention & Intervention program in their area. These programs are available throughout Minnesota. 

It is also important to know that mental health care providers are in integral part of the program. When a child starts a fire there is often more going on with them, whether it is a crisis in the home or crisis in their life such as bullying or teasing. 

Having someone to talk to about the problem is critical since the behavior typically continues without proper intervention.

Help is Available

Youth Firesetter Helpline: 1-800-500-8897

The Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division  has developed this helpline as an opportunity for citizens to find the help they need to curb firesetting by juveniles. A simple call will get help on the way. The incoming call will be answered by an automated system, and then reviewed by a deputy state fire Marshal. The deputy will then forward the case to a local authority for assistance.
If you feel yourself or others are in immediate danger, please call 911.


Intervention Assistance

If you are treating a child who exhibits firesetting behavior, contact Kathi Osmonson to coordinate educational intervention. Email her or call her at 651-201-7220. If you need clinical assistance please email Jerrod Brown or call 651-734-5517.


Intervention specialist and program manager training is available. Learn more in the training section of our website.


Online Education and Information


This two-hour free webinar presented by Jerrod Brown discusses youth firesetting clinical and forensic considerations.


Several articles are available from YFIRES ​-- a non-profit organization which develops and supports a wide range of intervention, communication, and training for service providers of fire involved youth -- about youth-set fires.


Articles and Newsletters

Articles by Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division staff and other experts as well as our Youth Firesetting Prevention and Intervention newsletter are available here.
This article about counseling children who play with fire is helpful and informative.

This article​ will help you understand the relationship between youth firesetting and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.​

Here is an article to help you with screening, assessment and intervention when working with a client who starts fires.

This article is an overview of the relationship between youth firesetting and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.


For more activities and ideas, go to our useful links page. You can find it in the gray box on the left side of this page.

Contact Us 

You can reach our YFPI coordinator, Kathi Osmonson, at kathi.osmonson@state.mn.us or 651-201-7220.