Fire query gets reward boost

An anonymous donor has come forward with a $5,000 reward for information regarding a fire investigation that has been ongoing in Fort Dodge since September.

The reward, which is being offered through Webster County Crime Stoppers, was announced at the group’s monthly meeting Friday.

The fire was reported on Sept. 16 at 3035 Soldier Ridge Drive.

Membership Chair John Bruner said the donor was concerned about the fire and wanted to encourage people with information about it to come foward.

Sgt. Anita Guthrie, of the Fort Dodge Police Department, said the money will be awarded to whoever provides information that leads to a suspect’s arrest and conviction.

The house that burned was under construction and still in the framing stage. It was being built by Doyle Construction for Mark and Raeanne Marner, according to a Messenger account of the incident.

It was a total loss.

A house next to it, which was also still under construction, was damaged.

Police believe the fire occurred between 1:15 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., according to Guthrie.

The cause of the blaze has not been determined, though the police have classified it as “suspicious in nature.”

Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call Detective Steve Hanson of the FDPD at 573-1426 or Crime Stoppers at 573-1444. Tips can also be sent via text at 274637 and by email at