Progress has been made in the psychological study of arson and firesetting but existing research is predominantly offence-focussed, meaning that the nuances of humans’ relationship with fire have not been fully captured. This study explored the fire – fire user relationship from the perspective of an incarcerated sample. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 adults with arson convictions and/or a record of institutional firesetting. Data analysis was based on the principles of grounded theory. Three themes were identified, underpinning participants’ life-long psychological relationship with fire, namely: 1) Immediate Gratification, 2) Self-Concept, and 3) Self-Preservation. This study is the first to explore the lifelong fire – fire user relationship. Implications are discussed, most notably in relation to how findings could inform youth firesetting prevention initiatives.