Teen Charged With Arson Following Fire At Old Joliet Prison

CHICAGO (CBS) — A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with Monday’s raging fire at the old Joliet prison.

Joliet police released a photo Tuesday in hopes of tracking down persons of interest following the fire, which erupted around 7 p.m. Memorial Day at the former Joliet Correctional Center on Collins Street.

On Tuesday, police say the juvenile they arrested “had a lighter and had set some papers on fire intentionally while inside the prison grounds.”  The teen was charged with one count of arson and sent to a juvenile detention facility.

The news release said another juvenile was questioned, but no charges were filed against him.

The fire burned for at least a couple of hours before firefighters got it under control around 10 p.m. Monday. The roof caved in as a result of the blaze.

The shuttered prison is owned by the state of Illinois, but Joliet’s mayor said there is a proposal before the City Council to purchase the property so it can be rehabbed or possibly torn down and used as a quarry, because it has fallen into disrepair. He said it’s “just a matter of time” before there is a tragic accident at the shuttered prison.

The cause of the fire was under investigation Tuesday morning. No injuries were reported.

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