Information still sought in other Galena fires

By Roger McKinney

Globe Staff Writer

GALENA, Kan. - A 24-year-old Baxter Springs man has been charged in connection with some of the recent fires in Galena.

Galena Police Chief Garry Abram said Wednesday that James Tush has been charged in Cherokee County District Court with two felony counts of arson and one count of felony trespassing.

Abram said the charges relate to a fire Feb. 26 that destroyed the Galena animal shelter. There were no animals in the shelter at the time. Abram said Tush also is charged in connection with grass fires that were started at the same time and a house fire south of Galena.

Abram said the investigation was conducted by Galena police and the Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office. He said Tush confessed to starting the fires.

Abram said Tush lived in Galena before moving to Baxter Springs.

Tush late Wednesday was in the Galena City Jail, awaiting transportation to the Cherokee County Jail. His bond has been set at $50,000.

Abram said the arrest and charges do not clear all the fires being investigated. The most recent set fire was Tuesday. It destroyed a vacant house at 13th and Wood streets.

The Kansas Committee on Arson Prevention has offered up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is setting the fires. Abram said no one is a clear candidate for the reward right now.

He said help from residents is still needed in determining who set the other fires. People with information about the fires may call the Police Department at (620) 783-5065 or the State Fire Marshal's Office at (800) 572-7463.

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