Officials at a troubled District of Columbia prison complex spent Saturday cleaning up from a series of fires that left one prisoner dead, another injured, and gutted an administration building.
Inmates took advantage of a power failure that occurred Friday night to set a series of fires, according to Corrections Department spokes-woman Pat Wheeler.Two inmates were stabbed during the disturbance, a press release issued Saturday by the D.C. Department of Corrections said. Both were taken to Dewitt Army Hospital at nearby Fort Belvoir, where one of the inmates was pronounced dead.
The dead inmate was identified as Andre Drake, 26, of Washington, D.C. The other prisoner, Jerry Gill, 36, a Shelby, N.C., native, was taken by helicopter from Dewitt to D.C. General Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.
Gill, who is eligible for parole in August 1996, is serving a five- to 15-year sentence for rape and several other convictions. Drake had been convicted of simple assault but was also serving two to five years for unauthorized use of a vehicle. He would have been eligible for parole in 1990.
One blaze engulfed the prison's main adminstration building, as Fairfax County, Va., firefighters refusing to enter the grounds stood by for more than an hour. They said they were waiting until prison guards could contain inmates who roamed the grounds freely.
A damaged heating system, smoke and water at one of the complex's 25 dormitories forced prison officials to move about 60 prisoners to the D.C. Jail. Officials have said the prisoners will probably spend another night there.
Damage estimates from the fires have not been released.
The prison - one of 10 correctional institutions in the Lorton complex - is about 20 miles south of Washington and held 6,165 prisoners last month.
District Mayor Marion S. Barry Jr., who came to the city-run prison complex from a presidential inaugural celebration at the city's convention center by helicopter, downplayed the incident. Barry was accompanied by his wife, Effi.