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Article updated: 7/25/2013 4:04 PM

Fire destroys warehouse at closed Joliet prison


A building that's part of a long-closed Joliet state prison complex that was featured in the opening scenes of "The Blues Brothers" was destroyed by an overnight fire.

Thursday's fire at a warehouse is under investigation by the state fire marshal, said Tom Shaer, the director of communications for the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The fire began around 3:15 a.m. and took several hours to extinguish. Firefighters were able to see the smoke and flames from several miles away.

The destroyed warehouse is one of 12 to 15 buildings in the complex. It was the only one affected by the fire. The most iconic locations, including historic limestone buildings shown in the 1980 movie and the TV show "Prison Break," weren't damaged.

Built in the 1850s, the Joliet Correctional Center closed in 2002. It's now owned by the Illinois Department of Central Management Services.

In addition to being a filming location, Shaer says the complex is also used for military and police training, but it wasn't being used when Thursday's fire began. The facility has no electrical service.

No one was injured, although firefighters were delayed when they initially fought the flames because the nearest fire hydrants were dry.

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