Sunday night, a fire was discovered and extinguished in a cell inside the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center. The sheriff’s office reports minimal damage and no injuries to any inmates or detention center personnel. The jail was on lockdown from 9:23 p.m. Sunday until 12:30 a.m. Monday.
Investigators report the fire was started in a vent in the cell by an inmate that was using a “wick” which is a piece of tightly rolled toilet paper usually lit with a smoking coil in the recreation yard.
A sheriff’s spokesman explains an inmate will take the contraband “wick” back to their cell to use to light a cigarette during the time they are confined to their cell. The “wick” is hidden in the air vent in the cell and may sometimes fall into the duct work and ignite material in the duct work.
The three inmates in the cell at the time of the fire, Steven Gilstrap, James Hayes and Benjamin Williams have been placed in lockdown in another part of the detention center. No charges have been filed yet against anyone in connection with this fire.