Fire at old Collins Street Prison

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JOLIET – 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.

See photos and video (another) of the blaze.

“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.