An Eastern Iowa assistant fire chief has been charged with arson, for allegedly setting numerous recent grass fires.

The rash of field fires began the evening of March 27th, when the Johnson County Sheriff and Tiffin Fire Department were called out to a field fire on Chambers Avenue in rural Johnson County.

Over the next couple of weeks, the sheriff and Oxford Fire Department responded to seven additional grass and field fires near Oxford, all of them at night or early morning. Damage was limited to fields, fence posts and hay bales.

On April 13th, shortly after 11pm, a Johnson County deputy out on patrol in the area of the previous fires, discovered 3 more field fires near Old Highway 6 in rural Oxford. The officer also spotted a pickup parked near one of the fires, and a man trying to stamp out the blaze.

The man, identified as 30 year old Timothy Hora of Oxford, is the assistant chief of the Oxford Fire Department. At the time, Hora was charged with Operating While Intoxicated.

On the evening of April 21st 2 more field fires were discovered in rural Johnson County. Authorities used GPS monitoring, which showed Hora's vehicle traveling in the fire areas at the time.

Hora has now been charged with five counts of Arson in the 3rd Degree, and Public Intoxication.

Hora was being held in the Johnson County jail on $50,000 cash bond.
The investigation continues.


More From AM 950 KOEL