15-year-old boy charged with starting fire at Joliet prison

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A 15-year-old southwest suburban boy was charged Tuesday with starting a fire on Memorial Day at the Joliet Correctional Center.

Joliet investigators received numerous tips via social media linking the Monday fire to two 15-year-old boys, according to Joliet Police Deputy Chief Edgar Gregory.

Detectives located the boys, who were at the prison together at the time of the fire, and arrested one of the 15 year olds around 12:05 p.m. Tuesday, Gregory said. The boy, a Joliet resident, was charged with one count of arson.

The teen had a lighter and intentionally set some papers on fire while inside the prison grounds, Gregory said. The blaze was too close to exposed insulation, which also caught fire. The insulation then caught the rest of the building on fire.

The 15-year-old was sent to River Valley Juvenile Detention Center, Gregory said.

Police said no charges will be filed against the second boy.

All investigative reports are completed and being reviewed, Gregory said.

The prison, which closed in 2002 but is still owned by the state, has been featured in films such as “Blues Brothers” and “Let’s Go to Prison” and the TV series “Prison Break.”

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