ANGOLA, La. (WAFB) - Investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office say they have concluded their investigation into a large fire that destroyed the majority of a maintenance shop at Louisiana State Penitentiary.
Multiple agencies and the volunteer fire department made up of prison staff battled the blaze beginning around 5:35 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28. The fire was under control around 7:17 p.m and fully extinguished around 2 a.m. Saturday morning.
The maintenance shop is a separate facility on the complex’s grounds that houses equipment for a range of operations at the prison, including plumbing, electrical, pest control, and carpentry. The carpentry equipment was the only thing that could be salvaged, thanks to a cinderblock wall that separates it from the other areas.
Ashley Rodrigue, a spokesperson for the State Fire Marshal’s Office, says while their investigators haven’t determined the exact cause of the fire, they did find evidence of electrical malfunction inside of the main electrical panel for the building.
Investigators determined the fire originated in the middle of the structure where plumbing work was usually conducted, according to Rodrigue.
An official said staff members are working to continue providing those services to prison facilities.
No inmates or staffers were injured or evacuated due to the fire, officials said.