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Fire damages State Penitentiary carpentry shop

June 17, 2021

Fire damages State Penitentiary carpentry shop

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- The carpentry shop at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls was damaged by fire today.

The fire began at approximately 12:55 p.m. The Sioux Falls Fire Department was dispatched to the prison and the fire was extinguished.

Inmates and Penitentiary staff members working in the Pheasantland Industries shops were evacuated from the building. All of the occupants of a classroom building next door were evacuated as a precaution. An emergency count of inmates was conducted with all inmates accounted for.

Three Penitentiary staff members were transported to a local hospital to be examined for possible smoke inhalation. Another staff member was examined at the Penitentiary but did not require further medical attention. None of the inmates working in the carpentry shop reported any injuries or smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Preliminary information indicates the fire may have started in an exhaust fan.

The carpentry shop suffered fire and smoke damage. The amount of damage is undetermined at this time.

Pheasantland Industries is an enterprise fund within the South Dakota Department of Corrections that provides work opportunities and instills marketable job skills for state prison inmates who produce unique products. Inmates in the carpentry shop build cabinets, produce custom furniture and refurbish and refinish furniture.