Former Iowa Central student accused in parking garage fire

Authorities are seeking Terrell Adams on arson charge

Terrell Adams

A former Iowa Central Community College student has been charged with arson after some vehicles in the college’s parking garage were set on fire Tuesday.

Terrell Adams, 22, of Fort Dodge, has been charged with one count of first-degree arson, a class B felony, according to the Fort Dodge Police Department.

He was still being sought by police Wednesday night.

Police Chief Roger Porter said Adams was at one point a student at Iowa Central, but he left the college last year. Although he left the college, Porter said Adams was still living in Fort Dodge.

Tom Beneke, Iowa Central’s vice president for enrollment management and student development, also confirmed that Adams was a student at Iowa Central in the fall of 2017, but he is no longer enrolled at the college.

On a social media profile that appeared to belong to Adams, he stated that he studied fire science at Iowa Central.

Beneke was unable to confirm that.

Multiple cars were damaged or destroyed by the early morning fire on Tuesday morning.

The cars were on the ground level of the garage.

Firefighters were called to the college at 1 Triton Circle at 4:30 a.m. where fire crews found cars on fire in the parking structure, officials said.

Crews were able to extinguish the fire rather quickly, according to Fort Dodge Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter.

The structure itself was also damaged.

“There’s extensive spalling of the concrete above the area where the cars were burning,” he said.

About a dozen cars sustained fire and smoke damage, but no injuries were reported.

Dan Kinney, Iowa Central president, said the parking ramp is temporarily closed.

“Right now we are getting all of our students who have vehicles out of there and it’s going to be shut down,” Kinney said Tuesday.

Structural engineers and the college’s insurance adjusters are assessing the parking garage.

Adams is described as a black man, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing about 165 lbs.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Fort Dodge Police Department at 573-1426 or Webster County Crime Stoppers at 573-1444. Tips can also be sent online at or by texting “LEC” and the tip to 274637.