Mt Vernon, KY – Overnight fire at county jail suppressed by sprinkler system

A fire early Wednesday at the Rockcastle County jail caused 13 inmates and two jail employees to be sent to hospitals with smoke inhalation.  Police and fire officials were called about 3:20 a.m. to the jail, which housed 102 inmates at the time, Kentucky State Trooper Lloyd Cochran said.

Four jail employees were in the building at the time State police suspect arson, Cochran said. The investigation is open, and no arrests have been made. None of the injuries were thought to be life-threatening, and many of those hospitalized have been released, Cochran said. The injured were taken to hospitals in Rockcastle and Laurel counties.

The fire caused heavy smoke and water damage, Cochran said. It could be closed for several weeks.

All of the inmates were transported to the Laurel County Correctional Center, Cochran said. It was unclear whether the prisoners would be able to stay there until repairs are made to the Rockcastle County jail.


Jail employees told police that alarm and sprinkler systems worked as they are supposed to, Cochran said. State police will be able to confirm that alarms and sprinklers worked properly after the investigation is completed.

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