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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
March 19, 2015

(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

SFM Division Investigating Suspicous Fires in Missouri Valley; Fire Chief Charged

Missouri Valley, IOWA – The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) State Fire Marshal Division (SFM) was asked by the Missouri Valley Police Department to investigate suspicious fires that occurred at two separate locations. 

On October 9, 2014, a fire  was reported at a vacant house at the intersection of 10th and Granite Street in Missouri Valley. Several days later, the same vacant house caught fire two more times.

On March 7, 2015, around 1:00AM, another fire was reported at 105 West Superior in Missouri Valley.

During the course of the investigation, special agents with the SFM Division determined false information was provided to them by the former Missouri Valley Fire Chief Johnny Walker.  Walker has been charged with 1 (one) count of Interference with Official Acts and 1 (one) count of Providing False Information. Both charges are simple misdemeanors.

The investigation into these suspicious fires is on-going. No further information will be released at this time.

Media Contact: Ron Humphrey, Special Agent in Charge, DPS State Fire Marshal Division, (515) 208-7648.

Anyone with information about these fires is asked to contact the SFM Division at (712) 308-3977; the Arson Hotline at 1-800-532-1459; or, the Missouri Valley Police Department.

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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