TECUMSEH, Neb (KCAU) — Authorities say an inmate at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI) died after multiple inmates set fires on the housing unit of the facility.
According to a release from the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS), Jesse Spencer, 28, was allegedly among five inmates who set fires in their cells at around 6 p.m. The facility’s Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) responded to the incident immediately.
The release states that CERT officials directed the inmates out of their cells and away from the fire, but two inmates refused. Spencer was one of two inmates who refused to comply.
Spencer would be found lying in his cell after staff members went in to bring him out, but he was unresponsive. Despite the staff using life-saving efforts, Spencer could not be revived, according to the release.
Staff members at the institution were able to get the fires put out by the time local fire crews arrived. No other housing units were impacted and no other inmates required medical attention. Two staff members received non-serious medical treatment related to the incident.
Spencer was serving 12 to 20 years for charges including second-degree assault, assault by a confined person, theft, terroristic threats, and criminal mischief out of Gage, Johnson, and Lancaster County.
The release noted that TSCI will remain on modified operations while the investigation is ongoing. Any time an inmate dies in the custody of NDCS, a grand jury will also conduct an investigation.