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A volunteer firefighter accused of setting multiple fires in Elgin last winter waived his arraignment in federal court and pleaded not guilty on Friday.

John Iszler, 25, is charged in U.S. District Court with malicious destruction, by fire, of a business operating in interstate and foreign commerce for allegedly setting a New Year’s Eve fire that destroyed a John Deere dealership, a $3.3 million loss.

He’s also charged with attempted malicious destruction, by fire, of an occupied rental property related to an apartment complex fire on Feb. 25. Court documents say a woman's life was endangered in the apartment building fire.

Iszler, a member of the Elgin Volunteer Fire Department, would return to both sites to fight the blaze.

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Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or


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