• Last modified 1073 days ago (June 16, 2021)


Inmate sets off jail sprinker

Sheriff may seek charges, restitution

Staff writer

Authorities are considering criminal damages after an inmate at the county jail threw a cup and hit fire sprinkler, setting it off.

Marion firefighters responded to a report of smoke coming from a cell, but there was no fire.

Marion sheriff Rob Craft said the trouble started in the jail’s general pod.

An inmate, whom he declined to name because charges are being considered, was “being unruly” when the cup was thrown and hit the sprinkler.

Inmates were moved to another area of the jail as the fire department tried to get the water shut off.

“It was up pretty high, and there was a lot of water flowing out of that sprinkler system,” Marion fire chief Chris Killough said, adding that he did not know how much water. “A little goes a long way.”

Firefighters considered shutting off the water to the building but were able to fix the problem.

“Everything was back and up and running after about an hour,” Killough said.

Craft said the water probably ran for 10 minutes. Only one sprinkler, not all the sprinklers at the jail, was damaged.

The building’s floors are concrete, so there was not much property damage, but the sprinkler head must be replaced.

“They are not cheap,” Craft said. “That is not easily done. It is a tall ceiling, so someone will need a tall ladder to work on that.”

The time firefighters, police, and county jail employees spent dealing with the watery mess will be hard to reimburse.

Possible restitution is being investigated but Craft said he was a realist.

“Just because you go after restitution doesn’t mean you will get anything,” he said.

Last modified June 16, 2021