TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Inmates allegedly set fire to part of the Tangipahoa Parish Jail this week, leading to a lockdown of part of the facility.
A spokeswoman with the sheriff's office says the fire threatened the lives of every person in the facility, located in Amite City, Louisiana.
Photographs sent to WAFB suggest at least one inmate was handcuffed to the railing of a stairwell during the incident. The photographs show another inmate shackled to a bed. WAFB was unable to verify the authenticity of the photos that were sent to us anonymously. However, when WAFB showed the sheriff's office several of the photos, they did not dispute their authenticity.
"Several offenders attempted to set a wing of the facility on fire and the fire had to be contained and put out. For security reasons, the offenders had to be placed in restraints during the process for their safety, the safety of the staff, and other inmates. These offenders compromised the lives of the entire jail staff and other inmates. This matter is currently under investigation," said Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office spokesperson, Dawn Panepinto.
A person claiming to be a relative of one of the shackled inmates told WAFB the fire happened Wednesday and that the inmates in this particular part of the jail remained shackled Friday. The relative claims the inmates involved are federal inmates that the parish is paid to house in the jail.
Panepinto declined to comment on when the fire happened, whether inmates are still shackled, and whether those involved are federal inmates. "I will send you an update when it becomes available to me," she said.