Mystery arsonist burns on



September 13, 2011 - 12:00 AM

Three more fires occurred in rural areas generally north of Iola Monday, pushing the number of arsons in the past month to nearly 30.
Grassland and pasture were burned this time. Other fires have consumed baled hay, including one instance of 250 bales with a value of about $2,500, and an abandoned farm house.
A bridge on the Prairie Spirit Trail at the north edge of Iola last was heavily damaged by fire, but may not have been related to the other fires, said Undersheriff Bryan Murphy.
Murphy said leads have been developed and investigation of the fires was a priority for Allen County officers and area firefighters. A large white board in a conference room in the county law enforcement center is covered with information and pins with colored heads dot a map, showing where the fires have occurred.
The lion’s share have been in Geneva and Carlyle townships, although recently some have spilled over into Elm Township, north of Gas.
Anyone with any information, no matter how 
insignificant it might seem, is encouraged to call the sheriff’s office, 365-1400, emergency dispatch at 911 or Allen County Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-8477. Crime Stoppers also may be contacted anonymously by text at 274637 or on its Facebook site.
Crime Stoppers has offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the arsons.

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