Smoke Scare Put Jail on Temporary Lockdown

A smoke scare caused the brief lockdown inside the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island today [October 10th].

Light smoke and associated odor was reported at around 12:20 pm near the recreational yard hallway near a Detention Sergeant’s desk.

The Key West Fire Department, Monroe County Fire Rescue and Monroe County officials as well as additional Sheriff’s Office staff all responded.

The source of the smoke and odor remains under investigation, but fire officials determined there was no immediate threat to inmates,  jail workers or Sheriff’s Office staff. No injuries were reported and no evacuation was ordered.

Sheriff Rick Ramsay ordered all deputies and detectives in the Lower Keys to report to the jail as a precaution, but they were ultimately not needed on-scene.

Sheriff Ramsay also ordered a lockdown inside the jail as a precaution.

That lockdown has since been lifted.

The Sheriff’s Office is working with the county — the county owns and maintains the jail building — as part of the ongoing investigation.

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Amber Nolan
Amber Nolan is a restless travel writer who calls Key West home. Her work has appeared on USA Today,, Cruise Critic, Frommers, and several other travel publications. Amber’s most unusual project involved hitchhiking on small airplanes to 49 states, during which time she spent two years on the road, or rather, “on the skyways.” She is currently working on a book that documents the unusual journey and provides insight into the aviation community. Before getting into travel writing, Amber worked for an activist, investigative newspaper in London, so joining forces with the Blue Paper allows her to go back to her muckraking roots. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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