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Fire At Texas Jail Sparks Evacuation Of Inmates, No Injuries Reported

The inmates were moved to other areas of the prison in Huntsville.


A prison facility in Texas. (Image: AP)

Fire broke out Friday morning at a state prison in Texas, forcing more than 650 inmates to evacuate but injuring no one, an official said.

The inmates were moved to other areas of the prison in Huntsville, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) north of Houston, according to Amanda Hernandez, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The department initially reported 320 evacuations, but Hernandez said additional inmates were moved as a precaution. All inmates and staff are safe and accounted for, Hernandez said.

The fire appeared to be confined to the attic and third floor of the administration building and the attic of a unit that houses inmates, Hernandez said.

The fire was contained by later in the morning, but firefighters were “still chasing small fires in some concealed spaces,” Huntsville Fire Chief Greg Mathis said.

The cause of the fire will be investigated once it is completely extinguished, Hernandez said.

The 174-year-old Huntsville prison houses about 1,600 prisoners and is where condemned inmates are executed.

The fire is not expected to affect the execution schedule, Hernandez said. The next one is set for Oct. 10, when Jedidiah Murphy is to be put to death for killing a 79-year-old woman in 2000.

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