A fire was reported at the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Detention Center at approximately 9:43 p.m. Friday, though no damage or injuries were reported. The Pine Bluff Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Pine Bluff Fire Department and EASI Ambulance Service all responded to the call.
According to a news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the shift supervisor at the detention center had received a call from Metropolitan Emergency Communication Association (MECA) stating that someone had reported a fire at the detention center and the Pine Bluff Fire Department had been notified.
Deputies conducted a security check and found smoke in the day-room area of the A Pod. Detainees were removed from the pod while officials conducted a search to ensure their safety, the news release said.
“We responded for a call for smoke in the pod, and basically that is all it was,” said Pine Bluff Fire Department Battalion Chief Edward Pinkins, Jr. “It was just a light smoke scare with no injuries. No one was harmed, and it was just isolated to one area. It never spread throughout the facility."
Pinkins noted that the Sheriff's Office sent additional personnel to the facility when the call came in.
“The sheriff’s department was notified, and they sent additional help,” Pinkins said.“The jail administrator is here, and that is basically it.”
The news release noted that all detainees were accounted for, and the cause of the scare was located within the pod while deputies conducted a walk-through inspection of the facility. Deputies noticed ashes in three sinks in the shower area, the news release said.
The Pine Bluff Police Department, along with Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services, determined there was no fire; the smoke came from burned plastic. An emergency count was conducted to ensure all detainees were accounted for, and all were.
Before the detainees returned to their cells, a search of their person was conducted.
During the search, contraband in the form of cellphones, tobacco, a pack of cigarettes, a lighter, a white substance later identified as sugar inside of two clear plastic sandwich bags, and a screwdriver was collected and given to Sergeant Fred Green of the Tri-County Drug Task Force, according to the news release.