A 19-year-old has been charged after the Alorton mayor’s home was destroyed by a fire earlier this month.
Yadarius A. Crawford was charged Thursday with arson in connection with the fire that burned Alorton Mayor JoAnn Reed’s home on Dec. 3.
The arrest warrant states Crawford knowingly damaged the single-family residence, which was located at 108 N. 42nd St. with the knowledge that Reed was inside. This offense is a class X felony.
It was unknown whether Reed is familiar with the man who is charged with setting the fire. She could not immediately be reached for comment.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
It was the third time a residence Reed lived in had burned to the ground. There have been no arrests in the previous two fires.
“Fifty-two years of memories are gone,” Reed said after the Dec. 3 fire. “My family and I no longer have pictures of my mother when she was 16-17 years old. All of our family heirlooms are gone. All of the things you cannot replace are gone.”
Reed said in a previous interview that her security company is the reason she is alive today. The alarm company called her and told her the house was on fire.
She fled from the building with only the night clothing she was wearing. She said her daughter and granddaughter had left about an hour before the fire.
Crawford was being held on a $250,000 bond.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office investigated the case.
Centreville Township Supervisor Curtis McCall also commended the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office and the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department for their part in the investigation.
“Hopefully this sends a strong message that no matter what ZIP Code one lives in, Lady Liberty is still blind,” McCall said.