Iowa Assistant Fire Chief Arrested for Multiple Arsons

An assistant chief of an Iowa fire department has been arrested for setting multiple grass fires.

The assistant chief of the Oxford Fire Department in Iowa, 30-year-old Timothy Hora, is the man police believe has been behind setting a string of fires throughout Johnson County this spring.

The Tiffin Fire Department, the Oxford Fire Department and the Johnson County Sheriff's Office responded to several rural-area fires.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office has now tied those fires to Hora, thanks to GPS tracking.

On March 27, the Tiffin Fire Department and sheriff deputies responded to a fire near 3004 Chambers Avenue at around 8:40 p.m., according to a news release from the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.

On April 13, weeks later, a deputy discovered three more fires and saw a man stomping out flames of one of the fires near a parked pick up truck at 255th St. NW and Upper Old Highway 6 NW near Oxford.

On March 27, the Tiffin Fire Department and sheriff deputies responded to a fire near 3004 Chambers Avenue at around 8:40 p.m., according to a news release from the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.

On April 13, weeks later, a deputy discovered three more fires and saw a man stomping out flames of one of the fires near a parked pick up truck 255th St. NW and Upper Old Highway 6 NW near Oxford.

The Johnson County new release says the man was Hora, who the deputy then charged with operating while intoxicated and transported Hora to the Johnson County Jail.

Sheriff's deputies found a butane torch in the bed of Hora's 2006 F-150.

The next day, Hora stated to deputies that he was patrolling the area for an arsonist when he happened upon the fires, according to the release.

Hora says he stopped and attempted to stomp out one of the fires, but he couldn't tell deputies why he didn't call for assistance.

Just over a week later, on April 21, around 10:45 p.m. the Oxford Fire Department and the sheriff's department responded to two more fires near 300 St. and Gegenheimer Rd., the news release says.

Investigators used GPS monitoring to place Hora's vehicle at the location of the fires that night.

Horo is now charged with five counts of third-degree arson for the fires set on April 13 and April 21, according to the press-citizen.

Hora also faces a public intoxication charge, which police say is an unrelated incident that occurred at 11:16 p.m. on April 23 on Interstate Highway 80 near mile marker 233.

Johnson County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Brad Kunkel said deputies and fire personnel continue to investigate additional fires rural-area fires set during the night and early morning, in addition to the five fires Hora has been charged with setting.

The State Fire Marshal assisted the Johnson County Sheriff's Office in apprehending Hora, who is being held on a $50,000 bail.

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