A fire believed to have been started by an inmate last Friday in a cell at the Wright County Jail caused enough damage that 25 inmates were moved to the Texas County Jail for temporary housing.

Numerous inmates in the Wright County jail in Hartville had to be relocated to Texas County after a fire in a cell just after 10 p.m. Friday filled the building with smoke.

Wright County Sheriff Glenn Adler reported that 41 inmates were in the jail when the fire broke out. Jailers and deputies took the inmates to the courthouse as firefighters worked to put out the flames.

One jailer was checked out for smoke inhalation but was expected to be OK.

As crews worked to clean up the damage, 25 inmates were brought to the Texas County Jail for housing. The fee for housing is $45 per inmate per day.

Adler reportedly said the blaze apparently began when an inmate set fire to a mattress. He said he wasn’t sure how long the inmates would remain in Texas County, but an insurance adjuster was to examine the situation Monday.

“Part of the jail will have to be cleaned up and power washed, because there’s a lot of smoke damage and soot back in there,” Adler said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it was several days or even all week.”

Adler said he expects the perpetrator to be charged.

“It’s a mess,” he said, “but we’re working to find out who did it.”

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