A string of fires this week have arson investigators suspicious ineast-central Iowa. Tom Sheets is sheriff of Poweshiek County where four ofthe fires were discovered last night. He says they’re compiling informationon several fires Thursday afternoon and evening, west of Montezuma and southof the Deep River area. Sheriff Sheets says the fires were limited toabandoned buildings in rural areas. One deputy who’s gone to arson schoolis beginning an investigation, though Sheets says so far they haven’tdetermined for sure it’s an arson. He says several fire chiefs in the areado consider the fires suspicious in nature but they have lots of phone callsand conversations ahead with folks in the area. Another similar fire wasreported in Iowa County, and while the Poweshiek sheriff won’t yet callfires in his county arson, Iowa County Sheriff Jim Slockett says he’scertain someone set this fire deliberately — and he thinks they’ve done itbefore. Slockett says “the guy gets a kick out of this” and might want tolight a house or barn on fire, and he says the same person’s done it beforeaccording to “some decent” leads he has and intends to pursue. Bothdepartments are continuing their investigation.
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