Fire destroyed a woodshop work area and damaged a dorm at the Louisiana State Penitentiary fire early Wednesday, but officials say no prisoners or staff were injured.
The fire started at about 1 a.m. in the workshop adjacent to Camp D Eagle 4 dorm, officials say.
The Louisiana State Penitentiary Volunteer Fire Department and West Feliciana Fire Department battled the blaze for 40 minutes before extinguishing it. The fire did not impact Camp D's seven other dorms and two cellblocks, officials say.
Inmate fire safety training and staff response are being credited for the quick and safe evacuation of all 94 prisoners in Eagle 4 dorm, and 194 inmates from adjacent dorms which were not affected by the fire. The displaced inmates have been relocated to the chapel at Camp D. There were no injuries to inmates or staff, officials say.
"I am so thankful for our staff who live on the prison grounds at Louisiana State Penitentiary," said Secretary Jimmy Le Blanc, Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. "These individuals train to respond 24/7 to all types of emergencies that might occur at the prison. Because the prison is so far out in the country, If it were not for them this fire could have been much worse. I'd like to also thank the inmates for participating in monthly fire drills, this proves why it is so important to be prepared."
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the fire to determine the cause of the blaze. At this point, the cause is undetermined with the inability to rule out electrical malfunction. However, the investigation is still very much active and ongoing, DOC officials say.
Here are some photos, provided by the DOC: