Fire Department says June 21 blaze arson, charges one
The Newton Fire and Police Departments have charged 27-year-old Jerad McGinley of Newton with third-degree arson in connection with a June 21 fire that left an apartment house at 402 First St. S. a total loss.
In a press release this morning, Newton Fire Marshal Mike Knoll confirmed witness' accounts that McGinley lit an article of clothing belonging to his ex-girlfriend on fire on the home's front porch.
Investigators determined the porch to be the fire's point of origin which began at approximately 4:30 a.m.
According to Knoll, there were six people inside the multi-apartment house when the fire began, and all the individuals exited safely. The fire official said the blaze was extinguished by 7:30 a.m. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire , but Knoll said fire fighters had to make a quick exit when flames rekindled while crews worked in the attic.
Residents claimed that smoke detectors did not go off during the incident. Fire officials said the apartment is owned by Easy Keep Property Management. Knoll said he received mixed reports regarding the effectiveness of the building’s smoke detectors, but confirmed that the detectors and fire extinguishers were installed and operational during the structure’s last city inspection.
McGinley was charged this morning and released to appear in court.
Staff Writer John Jennings assisted in this report.
Mike Mendenhall can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 422 or via email at email@example.com.
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