FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Three more employees were hospitalized Tuesday after opioid exposure at the Allen County Jail Monday. According to Sheriff DavisGladieux, 11 employees had to be treated with Narcan after the exposure.
Gladieux said inmates tried to light a piece of spice paper laced with Fentanyl by using an outlet. It caused a fire and the inmates tried to put it out with water, causing more smoke.
An investigation is underway into the inmates with the substance and who got it to them in the jail. Gladieux said no inmates were injured because they are more used to handling the substance than someone who hasn’t been around it.
In all, 32 confinement officers, one jail nurse and a K9 officer and his K9 were taken to the hospital. The confinement officers went to D-Block of the jail on the suspicion some inmates were smoking according to Captain Steve Stone, Public Information Officer with the Allen County Sheriff’s Department. While searching one of the cells they found a piece of paper infused with an unknown substance. The paper later tested positive for opioids.
All of the officers that entered the cell block reported smelling smoke and feeling “strange.” All of the inmates in D-Block and B-block, which shares the same air handler, were observed by nurses and EMTs according to Stone.
Initially nine confinement officers and the nurse needed medical attention at a hospital, however 21 more confinement officers were later taken as well for observation. Monday afternoon Stone told NewsChannel 15 that all are doing well.
Stone added that as a precaution the inmates were “decontaminated.”
A cleaning crew and hazmat personnel are working to clean up the affected cell block which has been completely closed from the jail population. The block is still closed as the cleanup continues.