Local News

Cleanup Continues After Cumberland County Jail Fire

Posted February 20, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— Cumberland County's sheriff hopes to have prisoners back in his jail a week after a fire forced them out. Officials evacuated 361 inmates Friday night after a fire broke out on the third floor of the county jail.

Monday morning, jail trustees were busy mopping floors and washing linens as they try to clean up all the soot left behind by the fire.

Sheriff Moose Butler says its important to get back to business as quickly as possible. Butler says if the duct system clears out, he is hoping inmates will be returned by the end of the week.

As the cleanup continues, the inmates are scattered in prisons across the state. The price tag for that could run up to $12,000 a day. That figure does not include transportation and staffing expenses.

Butler says any new arrests may land themselves in jail in the mountains because there are no vacancies close to home.

"About all our local facilities in the area are overcrowded. They are like us, they are willing to cooperate with us, but don't have the room to cooperate with us," says Butler.

The Cumberland County District Attorney is working to release inmates in jail for minor infractions.

Many court cases involving prisoners have also been postponed until they can return to Fayetteville.