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Arson Suspect Arrested in Holden, Crime Caught on Video

John S. Cole Suspect in Holden Arson Fire


The Holden Police Department and Holden Fire Department responded to a house fire in the 800 block of S. Pine St. in Holden on Tuesday, April 21, that they determined had been deliberately set.

Officers responded to the scene at around 12 p.m. and upon arrival, found a fire had been intentionally set in the area of the front porch.

Holden Law Enforcement officers gathered suspect information and evidence, along with a video of how the arson was perpetrated.

The suspect arrested is John S. Cole, and he was charged with a Class B felony of Arson in the First Degree and two Class D felonies of Endangering the Welfare of a Child – First Degree – no sexual conduct.

The fire department extinguished the blaze, which had flames shooting up as high as the front window. Shortly after the fire was put out, officers identified the suspect from information gathered, and arrested him.

According to Holden Police Chief Trent Neil, there were two adults and three children inside the residence at the time of the fire.

The Johnson County Circuit Court probable cause statement said the residents of the home advised officers that Cole lit their chair on fire on the front porch and that the entire incident was captured on video surveillance.

Cole was apprehended at the scene and transported to the Johnson County Jail, where he was booked and charged with the above felony counts.

Cole is being held on a $25,000 cash only bond. As of April 25, he was still incarcerated in Johnson County.

There was minimal fire damage to the residence, thanks to the quick action of firefighters.

Chief Neil reports the arson investigation is ongoing.

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