Unicoi County inmates accused of setting fire in jail

POSTED: 10:42 AM Mar 20 2013
ERWIN, Tenn. -

The Unicoi County Sheriff's Office has charged two jail inmates with arson and vandalism after small fires were set in cells.

26-year-old Jerry D. Blevins and 28-year-old Timothy Smith are scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

Chief Deputy Frank Rogers said cells were searched March 8 after staffers reported smelling smoke from burning paper and plastic.

Rogers said there were 73 inmates locked up that day and the department took the offense seriously.

Investigators said inmates were soaking up water in jail commodes and then setting fires in them to heat noodles and coffee.