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ATF investigates Ga. prison fire evacuation

By Megan Matteucci
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA, Ga. — Fire investigators had released no information Monday as to a cause of the three-alarm fire at the federal penitentiary in Atlanta Sunday night.

The fire is now being investigated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives, said Atlanta Fire Capt. Jolyon Bundridge.

The fire broke out in a housing unit shortly after 8 p.m. and was extinguished by 11:30 p.m.

The extent of the damage has not been released. It is also not clear how many inmates were moved to another part of the prison and when they would be allowed to return.

The housing unit was evacuated when the fire started. Officials insisted that the inmates are secure and there were no security breaches.

Firefighters arrived at the prison at Boulevard and McDonough Boulevard and found smoke coming from the west end of the facility. They immediately raised the call to a three-alarm fire, summoning a total of 65 firefighters, Bundridge said.

Interior sprinklers and water pipes helped firefighters quickly get the fire under control and contained to the single housing unit.

Copyright 2009 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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