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Inmates set fire at Bryan County Jail

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 6:54 PM CDT
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DURANT, Oklahoma (KXII) - One inmate was taken to the hospital and dozens had to be removed from their cell after a fire at the Bryan County Jail Monday night.

Deputies say the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but inmates are taking credit for it.

”9-1-1, 9-1-1, please call, there’s a man down” is what Bryan County resident Jennifer Williams heard on the other line, when she was talking with her friend, an inmate at the Bryan County jail.

“Something like four Bryan county deputies on the inside of the fence, and then 2 or 3 firefighters on the inside of the fence,” Williams said.

Around 7 p.m. Monday, a trash car was set ablaze inside the facility. Deputies say roughly 30 inmates were taken out of the jail and one inmate was hospitalized.

“Smoke inhalation. I talked to him, and he does sound raspy,” Williams said.

Deputies say that inmate has been treated and released back to the jail.

An inmate inside the facility says it was started by inmates, to protest the conditions inside.

“What had started out as a peaceful, inmate lives matter protest almost turned deadly, as 37 inmates were trapped in pod 73 as smoke quickly filled the dorm,” Leonard Stephenson said.

Stephenson, in prison for evading arrest, and possession of controlled substance says they want clean uniforms and better food.

“The peaceful protest was motivated by commissary items price increase” said Stephenson.

“I just like them to be treated, human-like. Do onto others, I believe in that. Yeah they’re in trouble, but stripping them of their basic human rights, is more than- they’re already being locked away without seeing their loved ones. They just want to eat,” Williams said.

Deputies say the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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