Rockford, Illinois News

Man charged with arson in string of downtown fires

A fire rips through a long-vacant church at 607 Walnut St. Wednesday. (ROCKFORD FIRE DEPARTMENT PHOTO)

ROCKFORD — A man who authorities say is responsible for a string of fires Wednesday night is behind bars.

Edward Wash, 28, is charged with three counts of arson, allegations that stem from three blazes, the first of which destroyed a vacant downtown church.

The first fire happened around 6:30 p.m., at the former Metro Christian Centre, 607 Walnut St. While crews fought the blaze, firefighters were called to another at 313 Seventh St. Just a few minutes later, they responded to a dumpster fire at 125 Madison St.

Rockford Fire Division Chief Matt Knott said charges against Wash were authorized by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office after a follow-up investigation.

What was left of the Metro Christian building was razed Thursday. Damage to 313 Seventh St. is still being surveyed.

Wash is being held without bond and is due in court Saturday, Sept. 5.

You might also like