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Jail fire causes downtown disruption
Firefighters put on their protective gear as the prepare to go inside a burning laundry room at the county jail. - photo by Jim Dean

According to Division Chief Jason Shivers, the Forsyth County Fire Department responded to a fire at the Forsyth County Jail at about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Shivers said that the fire originated in the basement laundry room of the jail and was contained there by two jail employees. Shivers said that the fire was extinguished, but caused “significant smoke spread” throughout the building.

Two deputies received minor injuries in the fire and were taken by ambulance to the hospital for evaluation.

Shivers said that the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but that it “does appear that it started in a dryer or in a laundry room area.”

He said that the extent of the damage to the jail is currently unknown, but will be assessed once smoke is fully cleared from the building.

Cpl. Doug Rainwater, spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said there were about 280 inmates at the time of the incident. He added that the inmates were placed on lockdown within the jail.

“There is no danger to the public. All of the inmates have been secured and there were no inmates in the area of the incident,” Shivers said.