JAIL­HOUSE FIRE:

Nine peo­ple at the Bar­ton Street de­ten­tion cen­tre were sent to hos­pi­tal for smoke in­hala­tion

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - NATALIE PADDON npad­don@thes­pec.com 905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

Nine peo­ple were sent to hos­pi­tal with smoke in­hala­tion af­ter a fire broke out at the Bar­ton Street jail Fri­day evening.

The “small fire” started on the first floor of the Hamil­ton-Went­worth De­ten­tion Cen­tre just be­fore 6 p.m., said fire de­part­ment spokesper­son Clau­dio Mostacci.

“Crews made en­try and were able to knock the fire down quickly,” he said.

The Min­istry of Com­mu­nity Safety and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices said five in­mates and three cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers were sent to hos­pi­tal. (The po­si­tion of the ninth in­jured party wasn’t clear.)

Cit­ing pri­vacy con­cerns, spokesper­son An­drew Mor­ri­son wouldn’t say what in­juries they suf­fered but Mostacci said the pa­tients had “var­i­ous de­grees” of smoke in­hala­tion.

Mor­ri­son said other in­mates af­fected by the fire were moved to other parts of the jail for safety.

“The min­istry is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stances of a fire at the Hamil­ton Went­worth De­ten­tion Cen­tre. Cor­rec­tional staff acted quickly to con­tain the fire and en­sure the safety of in­mates.”

Each of the jail’s five floors has two ranges (blocks of cells) with a dorm in the mid­dle.

Union of­fi­cials rep­re­sent­ing cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers at the jail couldn’t be reached for com­ment.

The Office of the On­tario Fire Mar­shal has been called to in­ves­ti­gate be­cause the fire hap­pened at a cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity. A dam­age es­ti­mate was not im­me­di­ately avail­able.

Mor­ri­son noted cor­rec­tional staff would “mon­i­tor the well-be­ing of the af­fected in­mates.”

Fam­ily mem­bers with loved ones in the jail were con­cerned when they couldn’t im­me­di­ately reach them to find out if they were OK. Les­lie Bai­ley said her 25-yearold step­son has been in the Bar­ton jail for a cou­ple of months.

“I’m kind of shaken,” said the Dun­nville res­i­dent. “I just want to know.”

Last July, a fire broke out in an in­mate’s cell at the jail. The man had piled pa­per around his cell doors and lit them on fire with a smug­gled lighter.

CATHIE COW­ARD, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Nine peo­ple were trans­ported to hos­pi­tal with smoke in­hala­tion af­ter a fire broke out at the Bar­ton Street jail Fri­day night.

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