Home » 1 arrested for arson | News, Sports, Jobs – Fort Dodge Messenger

1 arrested for arson | News, Sports, Jobs – Fort Dodge Messenger

by Arifa Rana

Apr 12, 2022
-Messenger photo by Bill Shea
Fort Dodge firefighters tear into the siding of a house at 549 Third Ave. N. to get at smoldering hot spots after extinguishing a blaze that ravaged the vacant house. The fire was determined to be arson on Monday, and one suspect has been arrested.
A Fort Dodge woman has been arrested for setting a vacant house on fire Friday night, according to police.
Fort Dodge police reported that Shawna Searcy, 49, was arrested and charged with second-degree arson. She is being held in the Webster County Jail and is expected to make her first appearance in Magistrate Court today.
She is accused of torching the house at 549 Third Ave. N.
The fire was reported at 10:03 p.m. Friday.
When firefighters arrived, they found heavy fire on the first floor and in the front portion of the second floor, according to Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter. Flames blowing out of the windows burned through an overhead electric line, causing it to fall into an alley on the east side of the house.
Hergenreter said holes were burned through the floor and the stairwell was destroyed.
No one was hurt.
There was a fire in the house on May 27, 2021. The damage from that blaze was less severe and no one was injured, but two dogs died.
According to online records of the Webster County Assessor’s Office, the house is owned by Terry and Tessy Degner. It was built in 1881, according to those records.
The investigation into the fire continues. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Police Department or Webster County Crime Stoppers.
Webster County Crime Stoppers can be reached anonymously by calling (515) 573-1444, going to www.wccrimestoppers.com, or by texting LEC and the information to CRIMES (274637).
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