JOLIET, IL - A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on arson charges for allegedly setting the fire Monday night at the abandoned Joliet Correctional Center.
Deputy Police Chief Ed Gregory said in a statement that the suspect was at the closed prison on Collins Street with a 15-year-old friend when he intentionally set some papers on fire with a lighter.
"The fire was too close to exposed insulation that caught fire...then caught the rest of the building on fire," Gregory said in a statement.
The 15-year-old was arrested Tuesday afternoon on one count of arson and booked into the River Valley Juvenile Detention Center. The 17-year-old was questioned and released without being charged.
Fire at old Collins Street Prison
By Brian Stanley - firstname.lastname@example.org
May 29, 2017
JOLIET, IL – Fire caused heavy damage Monday night to a building at the abandoned Joliet Correctional Center on Collins Street.
Battalion Chief Jeff Carey said crews were called about 7:40 p.m. to the Collins Street prison after several nearby residents reported smoke.
“Two people were walking out of the prison when we arrived and said their had been several people hanging out inside,” Battalion Chief Jeff Carey said. “We had to unlock seven gates to get in here.”
The witnesses who’d been inside the prison and others with them were taken into custody by Joliet Police. An arson investigator was at the scene Monday night.
The fire caused heavy damage and destroyed the roof of the prison’s industries building – a two-story stone brick structure in the center of the facility. The closest sallyport to the industries building is welded shut, Carey said.
It took about two hours to put out the fire.
“We ran our water supply down Collins Street to the ladder truck and over the wall to [put out] the roof,” Carey said.