Several inmates, deputy injured following Southampton County Jail fire

Posted at 10:24 PM, Jul 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 17:28:49-04

COURTLAND, Va. - The Courtland Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire at the Southampton County Jail that left two people injured Sunday evening.

Crews responded to the fire located at 22236 Main Street at 8:26 p.m.

Several inmates were transported to other facilities while cleanup and repairs take place in the cell block where the fire originated, officials say. All other inmates remained at the Southampton County Jail.

Deputies had originally responded to the jail earlier in the evening because some inmates had damaged the water lines in their cell block and water was running onto the floor, officials say.

While deputies were attempting to fix the water issue, reports say the inmates destroyed a camera and then broke all of the lights in the cell block.

While continuing to address the ongoing issues, deputies began to smell smoke coming from the same block that was causing the other problems.

Deputies returned to that cell block to find a fire. They attempted to put out the fire twice but it restarted both times.

The Courtland Volunteer Fire Department was able to get it out completely once they arrived on scene.

Three of the inmates from that cell block were transported to Southampton Memorial Hospital for difficulty breathing and were released later that night, according to officials.

One deputy received treatment at Southampton Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation and was released later that night.

Detectives have evidence to indicate the fire was purposefully started inside the cell block using batteries, books, playing cards, and some type of fabric.

Once the fire was started, the materials were thrown into an open window for the purposes of ventilating and fueling the fire.

According to officials, charges are currently pending.