Man, 61, charged with murder, arson in Kankakee fire

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANKAKEE, Ill. — The Kankakee Fire Department says a 61-year-old man faces murder and arson charges for allegedly setting an apartment building fire that killed two young boys.

Fire officials said Tuesday that Alex Sawyer has been charged with two counts of murder and eight counts of aggravated arson.

Two-year-old Jushaun Watson and 4-year-old Justice Stewart both suffered severe burns in the blaze and died days later.

The fire started around 1:45 a.m. on April 13 in a rear stairwell of the building. Five other building residents also were injured, and three firefighters were hurt extinguishing the fire. Twenty people were left homeless.

Authorities say it was an act of revenge, but did not provide further details on the motive.

It wasn't clear whether Sawyer has an attorney.

[takeaction]

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.