Canadian County Jail fire investigated

Alarm sounds with smoke found in inmate’s cell

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Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Canadian County sheriff’s investigators are seeking the cause of a fire at the county jail.

Detention officers responded Sunday afternoon, March 27 when a fire alarm sounded inside the Canadian County Jail, 304 N Evans.

“They went to investigate smoke in one of the cells,” Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward said.

The El Reno Fire Department responded to the jail shortly before 5 p.m. Sunday to extinguish the source of the smoke.

There was one male inmate housed in that cell, which has been sealed off. The inmate has been moved to another cell inside the detention facility.

“We don’t know if it was an arson attempt or if it was accidental,” Ward said. “Either case, how he got the ability to start a fire is still under investigation.”

No inmates were hurt although one detention officer reportedly was treated for smoke inhalation.

The Canadian County undersheriff said he hoped to share more information about the jail fire at next Monday’s weekly county commissioners’ meeting.

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LATEST INCIDENT

This is the latest incident to occur inside the Canadian County Jail.

Inmate Kristina Marie Franz, 29, died March 6 at an Oklahoma City hospital after a drug overdose in her cell.

Another inmate, Cydnei Tysha Mitchell, 31, has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly providing Franz with the drugs that caused her death.

In recent months, several inmates have been formally charged with felonies after bringing contraband into the county’s lockup.

Several inmates also have been charged with having weapons and assaulting other inmates inside the jail.

On March 28, there were 168 inmates being housed at the Canadian County Jail.

The facility has an official 194-bed capacity since an expansion project nine years ago.

The Canadian County Jail, 304 N Evans in El Reno. There have been several incidents in recent months involving inmates at the county’s detention center. (File photo)
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