Oxford assistant fire chief charged with arson, OWI after field fires

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OXFORD, Iowa (KCRG) - The assistant chief of the Oxford Fire Department in Johnson County is facing several charges after a number of grass and field fires.

It all started on the night of March 27 when authorities were called to a field fire in the 3000 block of Chambers Avenue SW in Johnson County, according to release from the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.

Crews were called to seven other grass and field fires over the next two weeks following March 27.

Just before 11:15 p.m. on April 13, deputies said they found three vegetation fires in the area of 255th Street NW and Upper Old Highway 6 NW near Oxford. They saw a man trying to stomp out the flames. He was identified as 30-year-old Timothy Hora, who is the assistant chief of the Oxford Fire Department.

Court records said Hora had a blow torch in the back of his truck that was warmer to the touch than anything else.

He was charged with OWI and taken to jail and released.

A week later, deputies said they were called to a ditch fire near 1298 300th Street SW and another fire near 1098 Gegenheimer Road SW. Authorities said GPS information showed Hora's truck traveling and stopping in the area of the fires prior to the reports.

Hora has since been charged with five counts of arson connected to the fires on April 13 and April 21, the sheriff's office said.

Officials also said he faces a public intoxication charge related to an incident on April 23 on I-80 near mile marker 233, which is near Oxford.

Hora is in the Johnson County Jail awaiting an initial appearance. His bond is set at $50,000.

Damage from the fires was limited to ditches, fields, fence posts and hay bales.