Holland fireman charged with 13 counts of arson


GRUNDY CENTER — A Grundy Center man who serves as a volunteer firefighter in the neighboring community of Holland has been arrested and charged with 13 counts of second degree arson and one count of reckless use of fire or explosives over allegations that he started a slew of fires in ditches near cornfields over the last several months.

Kendall Rhoads, 60, admitted to starting the fires in interviews with law enforcement officers, according to a copy of the criminal complaint filed in Grundy County District Court. Most of the fires he allegedly set resulted in minimal damage to the ditches and nearby fence posts, but in at least one instance, he is believed to have set a piece of cardboard on fire inside of a corn crib, resulting in an abandoned barn and power lines catching fire. A social media post from the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office indicated that after setting the fires, Rhoads would respond to them with the fire department and assist in putting them out.

Each arson count is a Class C felony, while the reckless use of fire count is a serious misdemeanor. Court dates in the matter have not yet been set.