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Unicoi County Jail fire believed to be started by inmate

Published On: Apr 17 2013 09:23:50 PM CDT
UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. -

The Unicoi County Sheriff's Department says  an inmate is accused of starting a fire in a cell block at the county jail.

Sheriff Mike Hensley says it happened around 7:30 Tuesday night.  Jail officials smelled smoke and called the Erwin Fire Department.

In the meantime, the jail's sprinkler system was activated, which put out the fire, but also flooded a section of the jail and the 911 center.

Jerry D Blevins, a 26-year-old inmate, is facing felony arson charges and 16 counts of reckless endangerment.  The Sheriff's Department says those charges are because of the other inmates in the cell block.