Rock Falls man arrested in connection with fatal fire in Sterling

An arrest has been made by the Sterling Police in connection with a fatal fire that claimed the lives of a woman and two children.

Police say 40 year old Steven Coleman, of Rock Falls, was arrested around 6:45 Thursday night. Investigators say Coleman was taken into custody at a rural Rock Falls address without incident on arrest warrants for aggravated arson and residential arson.

The arrest and charges are connected to a fatal fire at Western Apartments on West 3rd Street. The fire started shortly before 12:30 Monday morning and left three people dead.

Upon arriving, fire crews found 49 year old Carrie Hose in one apartment and also located 8 year old Shayla Walker, of Davenport and 13 year old Celina Serrano, of Sterling, in another apartment. Officials say life-saving measures were attempted on the three individuals, however, all three were pronounced dead at the scene.

A 35 year old woman and a 12 year old girl were able to escape one of the apartments prior to fire and police arriving and were taken to the hospital. Their condition is not known at this time.

Coleman is facing three counts of aggravated arson and one count of residential arson, both felonies. He is being held at the Whiteside County Jail on $1 million bond.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

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