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Inmate Booked On Negligent Arson For Starting Fire at a Prison in St. Gabriel

State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies have arrested an inmate accused of being responsible for a fire in the wood shop of a state prison in St. Gabriel.

Posted: Apr 9, 2021 10:44 AM

IBERVILLE PARISH- State Fire Marshal (SFM) deputies have arrested an inmate accused of being responsible for a fire in the wood shop of a state prison in St. Gabriel. Ronald Amidei, 54, was booked on April 6 for one count of Negligent Arson.
The St. Gabriel Fire Department requested the assistance of the SFM to determine the origin and cause of a fire inside of the wood shop at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center located in the 6900 block of Highway 74. The damage was limited to a trash can and its contents along with tools and several combustible materials located around the exterior of the trash can.
Deputies learned correctional staff responded as soon as smoke was noticed coming from the building. Those staff members were able to stop the fire with a fire extinguisher and water hose. Three of the responding officers, as well as an inmate, were treated for smoke inhalation while one officer was treated for minor burns obtained while putting the fire out.
After an assessment of the scene and collecting evidence, including surveillance video from the wood shop, it was determined the fire started as a result of a cigarette Amidei discarded into the trash can while conducting his daily janitorial duties.
In an interview with deputies, Amidei admitted to possessing and smoking the cigarette that was discarded, which is considered contraband at the tobacco-free facility.

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