The Examiner

Suspicious Fire at Bedford Hills Jail Under Investigation

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New York State Police are investigating a fire on the grounds of the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility last week believed to be suspicious.

At around 5:15 p.m. Dec. 29, an employee from the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility discovered smoke emanating from the maintenance garage, located on the exterior of the secure portion of the prison property. The Bedford Hills Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the small fire.

The Westchester County Fire Cause and Origin Unit also responded and contacted the New York State Police in Somers to assist with a suspicious fire investigation.

A civilian employee of the facility was treated and released from Northern Westchester hospital for a complaint of dizziness, according to state police.
New York State Police Troop K spokeswoman Trooper Melissa McMorris said the fire originated in a locker room within a garage on the grounds, and did not seem to be accidental in nature.

“It doesn’t look like an electrical fire that would happen on its own,” McMorris said.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Office of Special Investigations is assisting with the investigation. A Department of Corrections spokesperson declined to comment on the fire or the investigation.
The fire was the second time in a week the maximum-security women’s correctional facility on Harris Road was investigated by state police in December. On Dec. 22, state police BCI investigators arrested Rasheen A. Smalls, 34, of The Bronx, and charged him with third-degree criminal sex act, a class E felony. Smalls, a former correction officer, is accused of having sexual contact with a female inmate at the facility in July of 2015, according to police. Smalls resigned from the position in October.

The arrest followed a joint investigation conducted by the department of corrections and state police. Smalls was issued a ticket to appear in Bedford Town Court on Dec. 30.

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