Rock Falls man arrested in connection with fatal fire in Sterling

Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 9:19 PM CDT
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Sterling police have made an arrest in connection with a

​ that claimed the lives of a woman and two children.

Police arrested Steven W. Coleman, 40, of Rock Falls Thursday evening around 6:40 p.m. on Whiteside County arrest warrants for aggravated arson and residential arson. Police say he was taken into custody at a rural Rock Falls address without incident.

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

The investigation is ongoing. Additional charges are pending.

Coleman is being held at the Whiteside County Jail on $1 million bond.

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