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For Immediate Release

September 27, 2007

Contact: Jeff Lyons
Public Information Officer
Phone: 603-271-5602

Small Fire at NH State Prison Suppressed Quickly

(Concord, NH) Twenty-four maximum security inmates in three housing tiers of the Special Housing Unit of the New Hampshire State Prison were temporarily evacuated after a fire was discovered in an inmate’s cell.

At approximately 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 27, 2007, Corrections Officers noticed smoke on I-Tier. Officers responded and extracted inmate Brandon Lee Bilodeau from his cell. Staff observed fire coming from articles of clothing and paper and attempted to contain it with a fire extinguisher and the deluge system. The Concord Fire Department responded and suppressed the fire.

The inmates in I, J, and K Tiers were safely evacuated to day rooms, recreational areas, and the SHU Law Library. Inmate Bilodeau was taken to Concord Hospital as a precaution, treated, and released. No other inmates or employees were injured. Fire damage was minimal and confined to the one cell. All inmates were returned to their units in a safe and orderly manner within ninety minutes.

Corrections Commissioner William L. Wrenn said, “We appreciate the response from the Concord Fire Department and commend Correctional staff who worked efficiently and cooperatively to bring this incident to a satisfactory conclusion.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the New Hampshire State Police, New Hampshire Fire Marshall, and the Department of Corrections.

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