A woman and two children die in early morning fire in Sterling

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CORRECTION: The Sterling Police Department originally identified the 8-year-old as Shayla Walker. According to the family, her name is Shyla Walker.

UPDATE: Rock Falls man arrested in connection with deadly Sterling fire

EARLIER UPDATE: An early morning fire on Monday took the life of a woman and two children in Sterling.

At 12:25am, the Sterling Police and Fire Department responded to a fire at the Western Apartments Complex at 908 West 3rd Street. The fire was throughout the second story of the building when rescue crews arrived.

Emergency personnel were also informed that several people were still trapped inside the apartments. Sterling and Rock Falls officers and Whiteside County Sheriff’s Deputies pulled a young girl out of a window by backing a squad car up to a second floor window.

When the Sterling and Rock Falls Fire Departments were able to get in the building, they found a woman in apartment 1 and two girls in apartment 4. Firefighters and EMS tried life saving measures on them but they were unsuccessful. Carrie Hose, 49, of Sterling, Shyla Walker, 8, of Davenport, and Celina Serrano, 13, of Sterling were all pronounced dead at the scene.

Prior to the fire and arrival of emergency crews, a 35-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl were able to escape out of apartment 4. They were transported to a hospital in Rockford for treatment. There is no information on their condition at this time.

The cause of the fire is still under the investigation by the Sterling Police Department, Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services and the Illinois Fire Marshall’s Office.

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