BISMARCK — A former volunteer firefighter was sentenced to five years in prison for setting multiple structures ablaze in Elgin, N.D.
After pleading guilty to two counts of arson, 26-year-old John Iszler was sentenced Monday, July 29, to two concurrent sentences of five years, which he will serve simultaneously.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland also ordered Iszler to pay $3,973,320.14 in restitution, according to court documents. A third arson charge was dismissed.
Iszler was accused of setting fire to three buildings in Elgin in December 2017 and February 2018, including a farm equipment dealership, which was destroyed, and an apartment complex, where a woman’s life was endangered.
As a member of the Elgin Volunteer Fire Department, Iszler returned to both sites to fight the blaze.
In May 2018, Iszler told Grant County Sheriff John Foss he lit the fires, mostly by dousing wads of paper with aerosol cleaner and setting them ablaze, because he was “stressed out over a person texting and calling him,” according to court documents.
Elgin, population 631, is in Grant County, about 75 miles southwest of Bismarck.