2 Louisiana inmates accused of setting fire at parish jail


FRANKLINTON, La. (AP) — Two Washington Parish jail inmates face new charges after allegedly setting a fire that led to the evacuation of dozens of people.

The state fire marshal’s office says 18-year-old Levi Lee and 32-year-old Medel Morales-Guzman each was charged Thursday with one count each of aggravated arson and fire-raising in a correctional facility.

Just before midnight July 21, jail staff noticed smoke inside one of the cell blocks. While the Franklinton Fire Department worked to suppress the source of the smoke, the cell block’s 34 occupants were evacuated. Additional areas were later evacuated as smoke spread.

Investigators say the fire started in an air conditioning unit.

Authorities say Lee is awaiting trial for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and two counts of armed robbery. Morales-Guzman is awaiting trial for sexual battery.

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