Firefighters battle blaze at Old Joliet Prison featured in ‘Blues Brothers’

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JOLIET -- Firefighters battled a blaze at the Old Joliet Prison, which is unoccupied but has been featured in television shows and the iconic movie "The Blues Brothers."

By and large, this fire was out as of 10 p.m. Monday, but police and fire departments remained on the scene to keep their eyes on any hot spots.

Video captured by the Joliet Fire Department shows them fighting a blaze in the northeast corner of the prison complex. The smoke was visible from about five miles away.

There was another fire at the prison as recently as 2013, when one broke out inside a maintenance shack. The roof collapsed on the empty building, which was previously used as a warehouse to store goods.

The Joliet prison was shut down for good about 15 years ago, but it has a storied past. It was built in the 1850s by prison labor, using limestone that was quarried nearby. Over the years, it's housed up to 1300 prisoners, and it's also drawn the eyes of many Hollywood directors.

The old prison was featured in movies like Blues Brothers - Jake and Elwood came walking out of the prison doors in the 1980 film - and more recently on the TV show Prison Break.

It's now vacant, but obviously the center of an investigation Monday night. The fire department hasn't said what they believe started this fire about 8:30 p.m. or so, or if there was anyone inside.

Video shows firefighters battling a very active blaze inside one of the buildings inside the prison.

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