Category Archives: Prison / Jail

Grand Forks, ND – Sprinkler system activated for dryer fire at correctional center

At approximately 2:04 am on Tuesday, December 12th, the Grand Forks Fire Department was dispatched to 1701 North Washington Street, which is the Grand Forks County Correctional Center, for a report of smoke and flames in the laundry room.

Fire crews arrived on the scene and were met by employees who had found smoke and flames in the laundry room. Crews found that the clothes in the dryer had caught fire, and the sprinkler system had activated. Fire Crews quickly extinguished the fire and removed the smoke from the building. The cause of the fire is undetermined. One inmate was transported to Altru with unknown injuries. There were no injuries to fire personnel or corrections staff.

The fire department responded with five engines, one aerial truck, one command vehicle, and twenty personnel. The fire department was assisted by the Grand Forks County Corrections Staff, Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office, and Altru Ambulance.

Sarasota, FL – Sprinkler system activated for kitchen fire inside jail

One person was injured in an early morning fire at the Sarasota County Jail on Saturday, July 8, according to the Sarasota County Fire Department.

Sarasota Battalion Chief Christopher Davis said flames broke out in the jail’s first floor kitchen just after 7 a.m. The victim was transported to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital. At this time, it is unclear if the victim was an employee or an inmate.

He said the sprinkler system inside the building helped put out much of the fire before crews arrived. While no evacuations were made, Davis explained that jail staff kept a close eye on inmates while first responders checked out all portions of the building to make certain the fire was completely out.

The SCFD stated that the State Fire Marshal’s office was notified about the blaze inside of the jail. The fire was out before they were on the scene.

The fire was an accidental cooking fire caused by grease, according to Sarasota County’s communications director.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Sioux Falls, SD – Fire inside state penitentiary carpentry shop put out by fire sprinklers; No injuries reported

A portion of the South Dakota State penitentiary was damaged by a fire Friday night.

Authorities were called to the carpentry shop in the penitentiary at 10 p.m. after prison staff noticed the fire on security cameras, according to scanner traffic. 

Staff responding to the fire encountered smoke, and the fire department was called, according to a release from the Department of Corrections.

The Sioux Falls Fire Department and a sprinkler system extinguished the blaze by 10:45 p.m., the release said. No staff or inmates were in the shop at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. 

The carpentry shop suffered fire and smoke damage, but the amount of damage hasn’t been determined, the release stated.

The carpentry shop is part of Pheasantland Industries, which provides work opportunities and job skills for state prison inmates and makes road signs, customized wooden furniture and printed products.  

Stock Island, FL – Electrical fire in county jail contained by fire sprinklers; No injuries reported

A small electrical fire broke out at the Monroe County jail on Stock Island on Sunday morning.

No one was injured in the blaze. The fire started at 6:41 a.m. in an electrical box at the sally port of the jail on College Road, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Adam Linhardt said. The fire started right under a sprinkler head fore a fire protection system, which allowed the fire to be easily contained, Linhardt said.

Firefighters arrived within minutes and quickly extinguished the blaze, Linhardt said. The fire did damage some electrical equipment and the jail was operating on back-up generators on Sunday, Linhardt said.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – County jail kitchen fire put out by fire sprinkler system

There was a bit of a mess, but a sprinkler system in the kitchen at the Door County Jail worked as it was intended to Saturday morning. At about 9:50AM, the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department was paged out and sent two trucks and four firefighters to the kitchen at the Justice Center at 1201 South Duluth Avenue after a fire was reported there. On the way, the fire crew was informed that the fire was out, but another problem had surfaced, the sprinkler system was still dropping water on the kitchen. Upon arrival, the firefighters were able to stop the flow of water in short order. They were told that butter was being melted when it ignited. The container with the burning butter was placed on a nearby cart and the location caused the sprinkler system to activate. The damage was said to be minimal with a little soot above and plenty of water below. The fire crew cleared the scene at 11:09AM Saturday.

Saginaw, MI – Sprinkler system activated for dryer fire at county jail

All inmates have returned to the Saginaw County Jail after some displaced following a fire in a commercial dryer.

The fire happened on Friday, March 29 at around 8:30 a.m.

Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel said that the fire was caused by a clogged vent in a commercial dryer located in the jail’s basement.

Federspiel said around 100-150 people, a mix of workers and inmates, had to move to higher levels of the jail.

“In the process we had to evacuate the women’s dorm, we had to evacuate some other prisoners to higher levels where there wasn’t any smoke,” said Federspiel.

Five STARS buses were called to the scene and officials moved some non-violent inmates to another, undisclosed location, as part of their emergency plan.

“Anytime you have people out of their cells it’s a dangerous situation for us. So, we just want to let the public know we’re making sure that the inmates and my staff are safe. But we’re also making sure the public is safe. So, we’ve had these plans in place for such an event and we’ve never had to use them, but now we’re putting it into action,” explained Federspiel.

On Monday, April 1, officials confirmed that all inmates had been moved back to their regular housing.

Saginaw County Undersheriff Mike Gomez also said that most operations have resumed as normal. The exception being laundry, which is being sent out.

The Saginaw Fire Department said the sprinkler system helped contain the fire and it was put out quickly with help from foam extinguishers.

“We’ve come for small trash can fires, toilet paper fires, but this is the first incident that, or major incident, that I’ve had at the jail. So, it’s a very rare event,” said Saginaw Fire Department Battalion Chief Tom Raines.

Lancaster, SC – Fire in dust collection system in prison wood shop is put out by sprinkler system

A fire broke out in the Kershaw Correctional Institution woodworking shop Tuesday afternoon. Lancaster County Fire Marshal Russell Rogers said the fire started in the dust-collection system in the woodworking shop, located in the back part of the prison complex. The fire started shortly after 1 p.m. and was extinguished by the built-in sprinkler system. The cause of the fire is still unknown, Rogers said Tuesday. There were inmates and officers in the building at the time of the fire and one of the inmates sustained a minor burn injury, Rogers said.

Columbus, OH – Fire in jail laundry activates automatic fire sprinkler system

A Franklin County deputy sheriff was taken to Ohio Health Grant Medical Center to be treated for smoke inhalation after a fire in the laundry room of the jail. A small fire in the laundry room of the Franklin County Corrections Center on Jackson Pike resulted in a deputy being taken to Ohio Health Grant Medical Center to be treated for smoke inhalation.Marc Gofstein, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said an industrial dryer in the facility’s laundry room caught fire around 7:30 a.m. Friday. The jail, which houses nearly 1,700 inmates, went into an immediate lockdown and a fire suppression sprinkler system kicked on in the laundry area.

No inmates were in the area or were injured in the incident, Gofstein said.Columbus fire crews also responded to the jail and assisted deputies in putting out the small blaze. All deputies in the area were examined by medics and one deputy was taken to Grant for treatment, Gofstein said. That deputy, who is not being named, is in stable condition. The jail remains on lockdown Friday afternoon. Gofstein said there is no visitation permitted and no transportation of inmates from Downtown to the Jackson Pike jail as cleanup continues.

Santa Rosa, CA – Jail cell arson fire contained with help from sprinkler system

Deputies forced their way into a smoke-filled room at the Sonoma County Jail Monday morning and grabbed an inmate who’d barricaded himself inside, threatened jail staff and started a fire by sticking something into an electrical outlet, according to the Sheriff’s Office.  The incident sent the inmate, identified as Bernabe Martinez Ramirez, 16 jail staff members and four other inmates to the hospital for smoke inhalation, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Spencer Crum said.

In February, Ramirez, 27, was placed into a segregated jail housing unit after he allegedly stabbed another inmate with a hairbrush that was filed to a sharp point, resulting in an attempted murder charge, Crum said. He was originally booked into jail in connection with a June 2017 case that resulted in felony charges of hit and run, obstructing police and attempting to take a gun from an officer.

Inmates like Ramirez are moved into such housing units when they engage in bad behavior such as getting into fights or when they are a risk to staff members, Crum said. They have no physical contact with other inmates, though they can talk to each other from their cells. Trouble at the jail started at about 9 a.m., when Ramirez was alone and taking a scheduled break near his cell in a common room, where inmates segregated from the others have access one by one to amenities like a TV, a bathroom and phone, Crum said.

Deputies noticed Ramirez was tying bed sheets from one door handle to the next, preventing them from opening doors into the room, Crum said. He also covered the room’s floor with soap and pried a manual pencil sharpener off a wall and put it into a sock, using it to threaten correctional staff that watched from a window nearby. “The deputies weren’t going to charge in there and possibly get injured,” Crum said.

A crisis negotiation team was called in and team members spent about 40 minutes trying to talk with him. Meanwhile, Ramirez grabbed toilet paper, another object which the Crum declined to disclose for security reasons, and used it to spark a fire from an electrical outlet.

“He’s able to start a fire and he starts lighting a bunch of toilet paper, sheets and clothing on fire,” Crum said, adding that Ramirez also broke down a wooden cabinet and added it to the flames. “We’re not going to disclose (the object) because we don’t want to see this behavior continue with other inmates.”

The smoke from the small fire activated the facility’s sprinkler system, dousing the room with water. About 15 to 20 deputies stormed into the jail common area, taking Ramirez into custody and using fire extinguishers to put out the flames. The jail was placed on lockdown following the fire, keeping visitors from meeting with inmates.

Santa Rosa firefighters initially dispatched to the jail for a medical aid call at 10:10 a.m. also helped put out the flames, learning of the incident as they were being escorted into the facility to treat an inmate, Santa Rosa fire Battalion Chief Mark Basque said.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s property investigators, which are trained in arson cases, will take the lead in the fire investigation, though Santa Rosa Fire Department investigators will help, Crum said. The common area where the fires were started does not have video surveillance cameras installed, he said.

Roughly 24 inmates living in the housing unit were evacuated and evaluated following the fire, as well as numerous officers. The officers were taken to Kaiser Permanente hospital, while the inmates were transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, Basque said. None of the medical issues were serious, he said.

LaSalle Parish, LA – Arson fire set by inmate controlled by sprinkler system

The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal has arrested a jail inmate for setting a cell mattress on fire.

Ulises Garrido-Zamudo, 21, was arrested on Monday, Sept. 17, on one count of Aggravated Arson. He was transferred from the detention center he was being held in at the time of the fire to the LaSalle Parish Jail for booking.

In the evening hours of Sunday, September 16, the Jena Fire Department contacted the LAOSFM to assist with determining the origin and cause of a fire in an isolation dorm unit at the LaSalle I.C.E. Processing Center located on Pine Hill Road in Jena.

Garrido-Zamudo had been in the isolation cell where the fire occurred due to discipline issues.

The fire alarm and sprinkler system alerted staff to the fire, however, investigators learned Garrido-Zamudo refused to exit the cell for staff to attempt further extinguishing efforts. He had to be taken to an area hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation as a result.

Following his release from the hospital, Garrido-Zamudo confessed to investigators in an interview that he set the fire due to being upset with a family situation and “the devil tells him what to do.”

Simple Share Buttons