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Fire at Lee County jail raises concerns of jail's current condition

A fire in the Lee County jail raises more concerns about the jail's current condition.

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 11:14 AM
Updated: Apr 5, 2018 7:19 PM

LEE COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) - A fire in the Lee County jail raises more concerns about the jail's current condition.

Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson says the fire happened Wednesday night in the laundry room area. He says the area catches fire at least once a month.

Photo: Sheriff Jim Johnson

"If it has not been extinguished the way it was, I would have been contacting family members, or someone would be contacting my family about casualties here," said Sheriff Johnson.

The fire caused damage, some of which can be seen from the roof above the room. The jail also lost two washers and dryers.

Johnson says this is another reminder the jail needs renovating or the construction of a new jail. 

"If this fire had of happened one door over, all the electronics do not work," added Sheriff Johnson. "It[The main housing unit] has to be opened and shut with a manual key and that could have been very very dangerous."

Last year, the Lee County Board of Supervisors voted to not build a new jail or renovate it. Board President Mike Smith says there are no plans at this time, but the board hopes to take up the issue again in six to eight weeks.

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