Inmates start fire over plumbing issue at NM county jail

The inmates lit clothing, bedding and other materials on fire in complaint over plumbing issue at the McKinley County Jail

By C1 Staff

GALLUP, NM — Inmates set fire to their beds and clothing after becoming upset about a problem with jail plumbing at the McKinley County Jail.

McKinley County Attorney Doug Decker called the ‘disturbance’ the worst they’ve had in the last five or six years, reports KOAT.

Inmates were moved from the pod to allow repairs to the plumbing, but by then they had already started the fire. Tear gas was used to subdue the inmates as fire crews rushed to the facility.

Some injuries were reported, but none of them were serious. Order has since been restored at the facility.

“We had a lot of worry that the rest of the jail might get out of control,” Decker said.

The fire is believed to have originated from a stack of clothing, sheets, bedding and mattresses, all of which were destroyed.

It’s unclear how the inmates started the fire, or what amount of damage was caused. An investigation is underway.

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