A small fire started inside a laundry unit at a prison in Florence, igniting a chain reaction that lead to a large plume of smoke billowing from the facility.
Steve Owen with Corrections Corporation of America says a small fire started in a dryer in the “L” Unit of the Florence Correctional Center Saturday afternoon.
Prison officials quickly moved all of the inmates out of the unit and called Florence Fire Department officials.
While they waited for firefighters to arrive, prison officials attempted to put out the fire.
Officials believed that the fire was out, but embers from the small blaze traveled up through the ventilation and onto the roof of the facility.
Owen says the roof is undergoing repairs and was covered with a plastic tarp. The embers from the fire ignited that tarp, which created a large plume of black smoke that could be scene for miles along Interstate 10.
Firefighters worked quickly to put the fire out. Owen says it was a small fire that caused a lot of smoke, making it appear to be bigger.
Owen says no inmates, firefighters or prison officials were injured.