Targeted searches ordered after inmates start fires in prison cells

TECUMSEH – The Nebraska Department of Corrections reports an inmate assault on a staff member and emergency response to inmates starting fires at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution.

A press release says the staff member was seriously injured in the assault Tuesday and was treated at a hospital for injuries to his head and torso.

The inmate is suspected of repeatedly punching the staff member and using his knee to strike the staff member in the torso.

In a separate housing unit, members of the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) joined staff at TSCI in conducting targeted searches of cell rooms Tuesday.

The action was prompted in large part by an incident Saturday, in which three inmates set fires within their own cell rooms. All three refused to leave their rooms and became combative.

 Director Scott Frakes said two of the inmates used homemade weapons.

Frakes: “Fortunately, injuries to two staff members were minor, but that was the impetus for more extensive cell searches in that housing unit today."

The Tecumseh Fire Department assisted with extinguishing one of the fires on Saturday. The fires were contained to the three cells and did not spread. All inmates were checked to ensure they were not affected by the smoke.