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Order restored at Hilo jail after inmates set fire, barricade door

Emergency response teams from the Hawaii Community Correctional Center and Kulani Correctional Facility today used non-lethal means to gain compliance and restore order after inmates set a fire and barricaded a door at the jail in Hilo.

The Department of Public Safety said the situation was brought under control in a housing unit at the jail around 5:30 p.m. and the PSD Institutions Division Administrator was on his way to assess the situation.

Department spokesperson Toni Schwartz said the Hawaii Fire Department was also at the scene, with Hawaii County police and state sheriffs assisting.

Inmates and correctional staff were undergoing a full medical evaluation.

“All the credit goes to the HCCC Warden and his staff for acting swiftly to mobilize their emergency response team and to bring order back to the facility,” said Maria Cook, PSD Deputy Director for Administration. “We would also like to acknowledge the Kulani warden, and her staff, as well as the State Sheriffs, Hawaii Fire Department and Hawaii Police Department for their assistance.”

Investigations are underway by both the Hawaii Police Department and PSD. There are 25 inmates in that housing wing; inmates involved will be criminally and administratively charged.

Star-Advertiser reporter Jason Genegabus contributed to this story.

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