Tama County Sheriff Dennis Kucera says more charges could be coming against a teenage volunteer firefighter. Investigators had believed a series of grass fires and fires that damaged three vacant buildings in Tama County were arson. The sheriff says they kept working to tie the fires to a suspect.
“Then Sunday night the latest one developed with witness information, actually witness information throughout all of these, started to tied things together, connect the dots so to speak, and led to an individual we felt we should talk to,” Kucera says.
He says 18-year-old Justin Anderson of Tama is charged with seven counts of arson.
Kucera says Justin is the son of the long-time Tama Fire Chief, Ron Anderson, which was a surprise. “It’s very different, it’s obviously very unusual, very uncomfortable no doubt for the fire chief, the department, even for my investigators,” Kucera says. Kucera says he’s not sure what Justin Anderson’s motive was for setting the fires.
“I do not no that one was given to my officers at the time of the interview, or at the time of the arrest,” according to the Sheriff. Kucera says they are still investigating to see if other fires may be linked to Anderson.
“We are looking into possibilities, like I said it’s just a matter of looking at all the fire calls, all the information that we have, seeing if all the dots are gonna connect,” he says. Justin Anderson is a high school senior who is set to graduate this weekend.