press release - 04141301


Jail Operations at the Santa Barbara County Jail are back to normal with the exception of a housing unit that is still on lockdown following a trash can fire yesterday, Sunday April 14th,  that caused inmates to be temporarily relocated within the jail. 

The 27 inmates in the housing unit are under investigation for their involvement in starting the fire and refusing to cooperate with evacuation orders.  Upon completion of the investigation, the Sheriff’s Office will request the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office to file charges against the inmates identified as being involved with the incident.   We will not be commenting further due to the ongoing investigation.

SB County Jail on Lockdown Following a Trash Fire

Santa Barbara- April 14th, 2013

At around 3:50 p.m. tonight, Sunday, April 14th, smoke alarms sounded at the Santa Barbara County Main Jail.  Custody Staff responded and located a large trash can on fire in a housing area that had been filled with items available to inmates including bedding, clothing, and other paper materials.  Custody Staff quickly doused the fire; however, a significant amount of smoke had already filled the area. Custody Staff began to evacuate inmates from the affected area to other parts of the jail.

Approximately 25 inmates in the housing unit where the fire broke and who were suspected of starting the fire, barricaded themselves in their cells and failed to respond to Custody Deputies evacuation commands. The fire rekindled and County Fire personnel that had already responded entered the jail to extinguish the fire. The barricaded inmates yelled and threw debris at the firefighters while they worked.

The Sheriff’s SORT (Special Operations Response Team) responded to assist and had to deploy chemical agents to gain compliance from the barricaded inmates.  The inmates affected by the smoke were evacuated to other parts of the jail.  During the evacuations, two separate fights broke out between inmates resulting in minor injuries.

All inmates in the areas affected by the smoke, exposed to chemical agents while they were barricaded or involved in fights were evaluated by medical staff on site. One inmate was transported to the hospital for evaluation of a head injury.

The jail will remain on lockdown while Custody Staff investigates.  No more information will be available tonight

For all Media Inquiries Please Contact:

PIO Kelly Hoover

Business Hours: (805) 681-4100

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