Cause of prison fire investigated

Jun. 23, 2014 @ 03:13 PM

Fire investigators were trying Monday to determine the cause of a kitchen fire at Orange County Correctional Center that forced the evacuation of all 216 inmates.

No one was hurt in the blaze, which occurred early Saturday morning.
Keith Acree, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, said the minimum-custody prisoners were relocated. About 180 regular-population inmates were moved to Johnston Correctional Institution in Smithfield. The inmates housed in the prison’s 40-bed disciplinary segregation unit were sent to other available segregation beds at prisons across the state.
The fire extensively damaged the kitchen, and officials haven’t decided whether to tear it down or repair it, Acree said Monday.
The inmate living areas were not burned, but the fire left the prison with no way to feed the prisoners.
Inmates will remain relocated until the kitchen is repaired or rebuilt, Acree said.
The minimum-security prison for men is at 2110 Clarence Walters Road in Hillsborough.