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UPDATE: Inmate arrested in fire at Rapides jail

Posted at 12:12 PM, Dec 30, 2018
and last updated 2019-01-02 16:45:38-05

UPDATE: An inmate has been booked in connection with Saturday’s fire at the Rapides jail.

Johnathan Jones, 20, of Alexandria, was booked with aggravated criminal damage to property and aggravated arson.

Johnathan Jones
Courtesy Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office

Jones is currently being held on previous charges of armed robbery, attempted first-degree murder, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice in connection with a 2017 incident.

ORIGINAL STORY: Rapides Parish Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a fire that started in the parish detention center last night.

A plexiglass window between two dorms was set on fire at about 8 p.m. last night, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

Corrections and Patrol deputies responded to the dorm, evacuated the inmates and deployed fire extinguishers to help contain the fire as the flames were on the outside of the building.  The Alexandria Fire Department arrived within minutes and extinguished the fire.

All inmates were accounted for and no injuries were reported.

A secondary sweep of the scene was conducted by Firefighters and the scene was declared safe.  There was no structural damage other than the plexiglass window.  The Alexandria Fire Department cleared the scene at approximately 9:30 p.m., the spokesman said.

The source of the fire and the inmate who started are currently under investigation.   Whoever is responsible will be booked with aggravated arson and aggravated criminal damage to property, the spokesman said.

“A fire in a correctional facility is always a concern but I am glad to say the measures we have in place worked and thankfully, no one was injured,” said Sheriff William Earl Hilton.  “I want to commend our Corrections Officers and Patrol Deputies for their swift response in making sure all the inmates were accounted for and the Alexandria Fire Department for their quick response.”