A northeast Iowa man has been arrested and charged with starting fires that he would later help put out.

According to the Grundy County Sheriff's Office, the department began investigating a "string of arson fires" in April of 2023. They've now announced an arrest.

The Grundy County Sheriff's Office says their investigation led them to arrest 60-year-old Kendall Rhoads of Grundy Center. Rhoads was a volunteer fireman with the Holland Colfax Township Fire Department in Holland, Iowa for the last six years. Holland is a small town a little over 4 miles northwest of Grundy Center, in Grundy County.

According to the Grundy County Sheriff's Office, most of the fires Rhoads is believed to have set were ditch fires. Some of those spread into nearby corn fields. He is also accused of setting fire to abandoned properties.

Authorities say Rhoads would set fires and then respond with the fire department, ultimately helping to put them out.

Rhoads has been charged with 13 counts of 2nd Degree Arson, a Class C felony. According to the Iowa Code, a Class C felony conviction carries a fine of between $1,370 and $13,660 and up to 10 years in prison.

Rhoads also faces a single count of reckless use of fire or explosives. That charge is a serious misdemeanor. If convicted on the simple misdemeanor charge, Rhoads could face a fine of between $430 and $2,560 and/or up to 30 days in jail.

The Grundy County Sheriff's Office thanked the public for their help in the case. They also state the investigation continues.

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