EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — An investigation was launched after a fire broke out in an isolation cell at the Effingham County Jail.
According to a post from Effingham County Sheriff Paul Kuhns, the fire started in an isolation cell at 9:53 a.m. on Tuesday, September 12. Upon seeing smoke, a correctional officer sent an alarm while another correctional officer entered the cell and extinguished the fire.
The Effingham Fire Department arrived on the scene shortly after and ventilated the jail with power fans. While the isolation cell was the only location in the jail that had a fire, large portions of the building, including the general jail population, had been filled with smoke.
The isolation cell where the fire started is concrete and not flammable, and the fire was determined to have been started with paper pages from a book and a plastic mattress cover. The only occupant of the isolation cell was identified as Mitchell Wayne Stevenson, age 23 of Altamont.
Stevenson was taken into custody for assault, disorderly conduct, and a Fayette County Warrant for criminal damage to state-supported property, however, the post reads “More charges should be expected on Stevenson after today’s incident and the matter is still under investigation. Stevenson should be considered innocent of all charges until convicted in a court of law.”
No injuries were reported during the fire.
Sheriff Kuhns thanked the other emergency service responders and jail staff who helped to extinguish the fire and restore order to the situation.