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Walla Walla, WA Prison Fire, Sep 1926

BLAZE RAZES MAIN BUILDING WALLA WALLA.

NEARYL 1,000 CONVICTS ESCORTED TO RECREATIONAL FIELD AT WASHINGTON PRISON FOLLOWING FIRE BELIEVED STARTED BY PRISONER -- TROOPS PREVENT OUTBREAK.

Walla Walla, Wash., Sept. 4. -- (AP) -- An effort early today to burn the automobile license plate factory of the state penitentiary, scene of a fire last night, failed when guards saw a prisoner strike a match there.
Prisoners in the license plate factory left it in an orderly manner, and the fire was extinguished without loss. A trail of sawdust had been laid as a path for the flames. The attempt was made at 2 a.m.

AN OUTBREAK PREVENTED.
Walla Walla, Wash., Sept. 4. -- (AP) -- The main building of the Washington state penitentiary, including two central cell blocks and dining hall, were destroyed by fire last night which prison officials believed was started by a convict.
The 975 prisoners were escorted to the recreational field within the walls where prison guards, soldiers from Company F of the Washington national guard, and officers from several cities and counties were called upon to prevent any outbreak of the convicts.
During the first confusion of the fire two shots were fired by guards over the heads of convicts who failed to keep in line. Prison officials deemed reports that any convicts had escaped and said there was no disorder after the inmates had been placed in the recreational field..
A burning object hurled by a convict into the ventilating fan is said by officials to have started the fire about 5:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Shortly after 9 o'clock the blaze was under control
with damage estimated at $100,000.
During the fire the prisoners were restless, but guards said there were no definite attempts at a break. Many trustees aided in fighting the blaze and in halting the spread of the flames to other buildings.
Warden C. E. Long announced that army tents from Camp Murray were being sent here and would be used until more permanent quarters can be established. Younger prisoners probably will be sent to the state reformatory at Monroe.
The main building, which was destroyed, was constructed in 1887 when the prison was established.

The Lincoln Star Nebraska 1926-09-04

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