Fire Breaks Out at Atlanta Prison


Investigators are still trying to get to the bottom of what caused a fire in Atlantas federal prison.

The fire broke out Sunday night at the medium security penitentiary on McDonough Boulevard in southeast Atlanta.

Atlanta Fire Rescue Capt. Jolyon Bundrige said the department was called about 9 p.m. Sunday and that 65 firefighters responded. No injuries or security breaches were reported following the three-alarm fire in the west wing of the U.S. Penitentiary. The blaze forced officials to evacuate the prison's housing unit and move inmates to another area of the building, but exactly where they moved the prisoners is unclear.

Officials insist prisoners were always secure, but daycare owner Tabitha Johnson is locking all the doors. She has the lives of 45 small children in her hands at the Miss Travis learning center.

"That's my concern [to] make sure they're safe and in their cells and the safety of the kids," said Johnson.

Neighbors told CBS Atlanta that prison representatives went door-to-door-assuring homeowners the prison was secure.

CBS Atlanta tried to ask officials how long the inmates would be wherever they were taken. They would not say.

The fire was extinguished and smoke cleared from the building shortly before midnight. The cause of the fire is unknown. Officials from the city fire department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating.

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