In addition, he's accused of setting a fire that killed a woman in Canada.
Gregory Flesher, 48, is being held on a $2.5 million bond.
It's not clear what led investigators to Flesher who once ran for mayor of Waukegan.
During his bond hearing, prosecutors said Flesher confessed to setting the apartment fire that killed a woman in Ontario, Canada about two weeks after the Waukegan arson.
Authorities accuse Flesher of breaking into the Salvation Army building last may and using fireworks and gasoline to burn the building.