FRANKLINTON, LA – An overnight fire at the Washington Parish Jail forced a partial evacuation of inmates.
The blaze began in one of the jail’s air conditioning systems around midnight on July 21, according to Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal.
Smoke pouring into a housing unit forced the evacuation of 34 inmates into a “secure outdoor area,” Seal said in a Facebook post.
“Our alert jail staff went into action immediately and removed inmates from harm’s way,” Seal said. “Their quick decisive action was a key factor in making certain no inmates were harmed. I am so pleased with the excellent job they did. When I arrived on the scene after midnight, I was somewhat overwhelmed with the response from so many agencies which quickly responded to help out. Our parish firefighters, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies, Franklinton Police officers, Ken Wheat and his staff, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, Northshore EMS paramedics and staff from Rayburn Correctional Center swarmed the jail complex and quickly resolved the problem. I am grateful to each of these agencies and their fine staffs. Washington Parish is blessed to have so many dedicated public servants who are willing to respond to any need that arises.”
The 34 evacuated inmates were transported in a secure transport bus to another jail facility until their housing facilities can be repaired and returned to use, Seal said.