Quick thinking by Mt Eden Prison staff last night prevented a potentially damaging fire from getting out of hand.
“Prisoners in the unit near where the fire broke out had been locked in their cells from 4pm for the night and were quiet and settled until around 7.30pm when smoke started pouring into the unit,” says Prison Manager Neville Mark.
“Staff acted quickly to unlock prisoners from their cells and move them into a safe area, while other staff used fire extinguishers to douse the flames while waiting on the Fire Service. No prisoners or staff were injured during the incident and the prison is operating business as usual today.”
“Police and the Fire Service have been at the prison investigating the blaze today, but we are relatively certain the fire was caused by a prisoner setting an item in their cell on fire and throwing it out of the gap in their window into a nearby rubbish skip.”
“Police will make the decision on any criminal charges laid against the perpetrator – and the prison will support the prosecution. Fires can spread quickly and be dangerous, risking the safety of our staff and other prisoners. The person responsible needs to be held accountable for their actions.
“I am very pleased with the fast reaction by staff in preventing the fire from spreading. They have put into practice their training in managing emergency situations like these and it has paid off.
"They worked well as a team to move the prisoners quickly and calmly to prevent smoke inhalation and acted professionally in calling for help when the magnitude of the fire was too great for them to put out alone.”
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