Suspect in March 2018 Fire at Jim’s Bar Scheduled to Appear in County Court

Suspect in March 2018 Fire at Jim’s Bar Scheduled to Appear in County Court
Jim's Bar in Arnold, Nebraska after the March 2018 fire. Photo taken February 2019.

ARNOLD—Just over a year since the March 27, 2018 fire at Jim’s Bar in Arnold, former General Manager Jane A. Chestnutt, 54, is scheduled to appear in Custer County Court.

On April 2, 2018 the State Fire Marshal’s Public Information Officer/Fire Prevention Coordinator Alyssa Sanders told KCNI/KBBN that the fire at Jim’s Bar was being investigated as a crime of arson. (Click here to view the April 2, 2018 story.)

Arnold Fire Chief Eric Nelson confirmed last year that a kitchen fire occurred at the bar and restaurant when the business was closed and that the fire caused “extensive damage to the interior.”

According to the affidavit for arrest warrant, the fire investigation “included four different surveillance camera systems, statements from individuals, numerous interviews, and burn testing.”

Per State Fire Marshal Ryan Sylvester’s investigation, as stated in Deputy Lawrence Stump’s affidavit, “the cause of the fire was the intentional lighting of whiskey that was on the floor by the means of a lighter.”

A complaint against Jane A. Chestnutt alleges second degree arson (class III felony), criminal mischief (class IV felony), and burning to defraud insurer (class IV felony).

According to the Custer County clerk’s office, Chestnutt is currently scheduled for first appearance in County Court on Monday, April 1 at 9 a.m.