Investigation underway into work camp fire - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Investigation underway into work camp fire


There's an investigation underway into what sparked a fire here at the Hardin County Work Camp.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano says inmates were evacuated to the gym around 8 p.m. Wednesday night when smoke started filling the main facility.

Fire crews were able to put out a fire in the kitchen area, but Solano says the damage left the work camp with no way to cook food on site.

"Shawnee Correctional Center (in Vienna) is this work camp's parent facility, so they will prepare meals for the inmates until the necessary repairs can be made," said Solano.

But with budget cuts in corrections front page news, local leaders worried the fire could impact more inmate meals.

"Noting the State of Illinois is in the process of closing facilities," said Hardin County Commissioner Wayne Eichorn. "It was a major concern to us that if this facility closed it would be a major economic impact to Hardin County."

Solano says there's no cause for concern about closing the Hardin County Work Camp at this point. The spokeswoman says IDOC fully intends to repair the damage and keep the camp running.

No inmates, staff or firefighters were injured in the fire.

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