Kankakee Police say the apartment building fire last week that killed two young boys was intentionally set. A suspect has been questioned and formal charges are being reviewed by the Kankakee County State's Attorney's office.
In a statement released Monday, investigators state arson investigators and police detectives have ruled it was arson. Witnesses and building tenants have been interviewed.
The Wednesday morning fire is believed to have been started in a rear stairwell of the building on W. Station Street. Twenty-two people were displaced. Three adults and the two children were among the injured. A firemen was also injured.
Two year old Du'Shaun Watson died on Friday, and four year old Justice Stewart died Sunday.
As the investigation into the cause of last week's fire in Kankakee continues, authorities report the two young boys pulled from the building have died.
The two and four-year-old died over the weekend at separate Chicago hospitals. Four-year-old Justice Stewart died Friday. Two-year-old Jushaun Watson died Sunday. Three others were also injured in the overnight fire in the 800-block of W. Station Street.
The children were airlifted to the Chicago hospitals in critical condition.
There were 22 occupants in the upstairs apartments who were displaced. Kankakee Fire Chief Ron Young reported two people jumped and three others were rescued from the building.
The fire started in the rear of the building where the laundry room and a back stairwell are located.
Iroquois County Conventions select new political party leaders…
Lyle Behrends of Ashkum and Dale Strough of Watseka will serve as respective Iroquois County Republican and Democratic Party leaders.
Both were seated (Wednesday) when area county conventions re-organized political leadership.
The Republican Precinct Committeemen elected Behrends to lead the GOP party. He's Precinct Committeeman for Ashkum I. Behrends replaces Shane Cultra. The Democratic Party selected Strough to the leadership post. He's Precinct Committeeman for Belmont III.
Paul Ducat of Chebanse, representing Chebanse II, was selected Vice-Chair for the GOP Party. Barb Offill of Gilman will serve Republicans as Secretary and Treasurer is Marty Tilstra of Onarga.
The Democratic Party selected Dustin Wells of rural Hoopeston to serve as Vice-Chairman, PJ McCullough of Watseka will serve as Secretary and Tammy Nietfeldt of Watseka is Treasurer.
SBA setting up shop in Watseka to help flood victims
The Watseka City Hall will serve as the Small Business Administration's Outreach Center to assist flood victims in Iroquois County.
The Outreach Center is in response to Governor Rauner's announcement that the federal government is extending the SBA help for low-interest loans.
SBA reps will be available at City Hall April 19 thru April 28. Hours are 7:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm. (closed Sunday) The Center will close at 3 pm Thursday, April 28.
WASHINGTON – Illinois businesses and residents affected by severe storms and flooding between Dec. 23, 2015 and Jan. 13, 2016, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today.
Administrator Contreras-Sweet made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Bruce Rauner on March 30, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Christian and Iroquois counties and the adjacent counties of Ford, Kankakee, Macon, Montgomery, Sangamon, Shelby, and Vermilion in Illinois; and Benton and Newton counties in Indiana.
"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Illinois with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans," said Administrator Contreras-Sweet "Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."
SBA Customer Service Representatives will be at the Disaster Loan Outreach Centers to issue loan applications, answer questions and help individuals complete their applications.