What are the different types of arson?

Third and Fourth, Sixth and Seventh are listed above. First, Second and Fifth degrees listed below for RI and equivalent Massachusetts Laws.

In Rhode Island, First Degree Arson is when the building or property has been occupied for any use within the six (6) months prior to the crime.

Rhode Island General Laws § 11-2-2 Arson- First Degree Degree- Any person who knowingly causes, procures, aids, counsels or creates by means of fire or explosion a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any person or damage to any building the property of that person or another, whether or not used for residential purposes, which is occupied or in use for any purpose or which has been occupied or in use for any purpose during the six (6) months preceding the offense or to any other residential structure.

In Massachusetts the statutes are divided. The equivalent to Rhode Island’s 1st Degree would be the burning of “dwellings.”

In Massachusetts, whether it is occupied or not is irrelevant. Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 266. Section 1: Dwelling houses; burning or aiding in burning- Whoever wilfully and maliciously sets fire to, burns, or causes to be burned, or whoever aids, counsels or procures the burning of, a dwelling house, or a building adjoining or adjacent to a dwelling house, or a building by the burning whereof a dwelling house is burned, whether such dwelling house or other building is the property of himself or another and whether the same is occupied or unoccupied, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years, or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one half years, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The words ”dwelling house”, as used in this section, shall mean and include all buildings used as dwellings such as apartment houses, tenement houses, hotels, boarding houses, dormitories, hospitals, institutions, sanatoria, or other buildings where persons are domiciled.

In Rhode Island, Second Degree Arson unlike First Degree is when the building, structure or facility is unoccupied.

Rhode Island General Laws § 11-2-3 Arson- Second Degree- Any person who knowingly causes, aids, procures or counsels by means of fire or explosion the damage or destruction of any unoccupied building, structure or facility the property of that person or another shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two (2) years nor more than twenty (20) years, or shall be fined not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or both; provided, that if death occurs to a person as a direct result of the fire or explosion or to a person who is directly involved in fighting the fire or explosion, imprisonment shall be for not less than twenty (20) years.

In Massachusetts, again it is irrelevant whether or not the “meeting house” is occupied or vacant. The equivalent to Rhode Island’s 2nd Degree would be Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 266. Section 2: Meeting house; burning or aiding in burning- Whoever wilfully and maliciously sets fire to, burns, or causes to be burned, or whoever aids, counsels or procures the burning of, a meeting house, church, court house, town house, college, academy, jail or other building which has been erected for public use, or a banking house, warehouse, store, manufactory, mill, barn, stable, shop, outhouse or other building, or an office building, lumber yard, ship, vessel, street car or railway car, or a bridge, lock, dam, flume, tank, or any building or structure or contents thereof, not included or described in the preceding section, whether the same is the property of himself or of another and whether occupied, unoccupied or vacant, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years, or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one half years.