Posts Tagged two boys injured in Kankakee fire

Several injured during Kankakee fire, 4-13-16 (more)

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Bail was set at $5 million Thursday for a homeless man accused of setting a fire in a Kankakee apartment building last month that fatally injured two young brothers.

Alex A. Sawyer, 61, of Kankakee, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and four counts of aggravated arson in connection with the fire early in the morning on April 13 in the 800 block of West Station Street, west of the city’s downtown, officials said. Jushaun Watson, 2, and Justice Stewart, 4, died days later in hospitals in Cook County.

Five other building residents also were injured, and three firefighters were hurt extinguishing the fire, officials said. Twenty people were left homeless.

Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jamie Boyd, in a prepared statement, said he filed the formal charges but was awaiting a report from the Cook County medical examiner’s office confirming the specific cause of death. Preliminary reports showed the victims had no burns on their body, Boyd said. A spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office said the cause and manner of death are pending.

Boyd said preliminary reports from the Illinois State Fire Marshall’s office and investigations conducted by the Kankakee City Fire Department concluded that a futon in a stairwell had been set on fire.

Boyd cited reports that said Sawyer, who previously lived in the building, admitted to having a disagreement with the building’s owner and being inside on the date of the fire and starting the fire.

On Tuesday, Kankakee police arrested Sawyer, who was already incarcerated on unrelated misdemeanor charges.


thanks Dan

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Several injured during Kankakee fire, 4-13-16 (more)

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Kankakee police say arson caused a fire last week that critically injured two children who later died.

In a statement released Monday, police said investigators have developed information on a person, who after being interviewed, is suspected of starting the fire at the apartment building. Authorities say investigators are interviewing the suspect and collecting evidence. They expect the Kankakee County State’s Attorney’s office to file formal charges in the near future.

Killed by the fire were 2-year-old Ju’shaun Watson, who was pronounced dead on Sunday at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, and 4-year-old Justice Stewart, who died Friday at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

A 65-year-old woman suffered smoke inhalation, a 25-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman suffered burns on their hands. Twenty were left homeless.

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Several injured during Kankakee fire, 4-13-16 (more)

2-Alarm fire with a 3-Alarm EMS Box for apartments over commercial fire with rescues at 894 W. Station St. (radio traffic is a condensed timeline) from – Audio by Broadcastify

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Two brothers, ages 2 and 4, were critically injured in an apartment fire in Kankakee. Their 55-year-old grandmother, a 22-year-old woman, a 25-year-old man and a firefighter were also hurt. Investigators are trying to pinpoint what caused the three-alarm fire. They said it started in a rear stairwell, blocking some escape routes. Firefighters had to make several rescues.

Justice Ward, 4, and Ju’shaun Ward, 2, are struggling to survive. They were airlifted to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital and Loyola University Medical Center. They were both trapped inside a second-floor apartment as it burned. The boys’ mother and seven of their siblings, including an infant, made it out safely. Their grandmother suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to Riverside Hospital in Kankakee. She told a relative, Harold Williams, about those frightening moments.

“Kids was hollerin’ and screamin’ because, you know, they didn’t know where they was. So they had to feel through the smoke to try to get them out of there. So luckily the fire department came and kind of saved their lives,” Williams said.

Firefighters arrived at the scene just before 2 a.m. Wednesday. The building, located in the 800-block of West Station Street, has two businesses on the first floor, eight apartments on the second floor and 22 residents.

“Upon our arrival, we had heavy smoke from the second story with numerous victims from numerous windows on the second floor,” Kankakee Fire Chief Ron Young said.

The 25-year-old man jumped from a window. He was rushed to Riverside, where he’s being treated for burns and a fracture. The 22-year-old woman was also taken to Riverside for burns. A firefighter had minor burns on his face. He was treated at the scene.

“All of the doorways to the apartments fed into a single hallway, so they couldn’t go out the front door to get out. That’s why they went out windows,” said Chief Ron Young, Kankakee Fire Department. “I’m proud of my people. I am proud of their professionalism and their courage.”

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Several injured during Kankakee fire, 4-13-16

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Two boys were critically injured and 22 people were displaced after a fire in Kankakee. The fire broke out at a building just before 2 a.m. Wednesday in the 800 block of West Station Street.

The two boys, ages 2 and 4, had to be airlifted to burn units at hospitals in Chicago. Three other people were hospitalized: a man who jumped from a second-floor window, a woman with smoke inhalation and another woman whose hand was burned. A firefighter also suffered minor burns and was treated at the scene.

Firefighters had to rescue residents from a rear window, because the fire blocked their path to the front door. Eight children and 14 adults were displaced. The building housed businesses and eight apartment units. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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