BURLEY — Inmates at the Mini-Cassia Criminal Justice Center are getting mostly sandwiches, cereal and milk, at least for a while, after a small kitchen fire left the kitchen unusable Friday.
Cassia County Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Dan Renz said no one was injured and the fire remained under investigation on Monday.
The fire department arrived at the jail at 11:03 p.m. Renz said they don’t think the fire was suspicious and may have been caused by spontaneous combustion of some rags.
Renz said about six inmates who were closest to the kitchen were moved for a couple of hours to the recreation yard. A restoration company was immediately called and put fans up along with an air scrubber that removed the smoke from the building.
The fire started in a corner of the kitchen and the walls in the corner were charred and the ceiling “got pretty hot,” Renz said.
The kitchen also has a thick layer of smoke residue.
The staff holds fire drills and responded well, Renz said.
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“We were most concerned about inmate safety,” he said.
The contract company that prepares the inmate meals has arranged to use the kitchen at Burley High School for now, Renz said.
“They haven’t missed a meal, but some have been late,” Renz said.
Because the company lost the inventory stored at the jail, the inmates will temporarily eat sandwiches and cold items including cereal and milk.
“It will be all cold meals for right now,” he said.
Renz said the jail has a contingency plan for evacuating inmates in the case of an emergency, but that plan is not revealed to the public due to safety concerns. Renz said they expect that the kitchen will be repaired within a few weeks.