Fire set at county jail sends three to hospital|[7/05/05]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Three inmates of the Warren County Jail were treated and released from a hospital after two mattresses and a blanket were set afire, forcing evacuations.

Sheriff Martin Pace declined to identify the inmates who were taken to River Region Medical Center for smoke inhalation or the one he believes is responsible for the fire reported at about 8 Sunday night.

“We won’t be releasing any names of those who were treated and will not identify publicly the inmate we will charge until investigators meet with the district attorney to make a formal charge,” Pace said this morning.

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Pace said 66 inmates were evacuated from the second floor, where the blaze was set. Of those, 15 were moved to Issaquena County and were expected to be returned today. The rest were taken to a City of Vicksburg holding cell at police headquarters and returned to the jail in hours.

Pace said jail security was not breached and the three-story jail, the original part of which dates to 1906, received no structural damage.

The jail, which saw its third floor added in 1979, houses about 300 inmates.