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Inmates to be transferred back to damaged New Brunswick jail

New Brunswick's Department of Justice and Public Safety says the fire at the Shediac jail on Oct. 25 was caused by improperly disposed cigarettes. Shelley Steeves / Global News

Inmates from the Southeast Regional Correctional Centre (SRCC), which was severely damaged in a fire last week, will soon return to the facility.

The government of New Brunswick announced that they will begin moving trailers into a secure site on the grounds of the prison today, with the intention of moving offenders into them once all “safety and security requirements have been satisfied.”

The plan is to eventually restore service to parts of the main building, beginning with the kitchen and medical unit.

READ MORE: Shediac jail fire deemed accidental, caused by improper disposal of cigarette butts

Denis Landry, New Brunswick’s Justice and Public Safety Minister, admits that the past nine days have been challenging to the province’s correctional staff but they’ve done well given the circumstances.

“Our management and staff have met these challenges with professionalism and ingenuity,” Landry said in a statement.

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The fire at the five-year-old facility, which rendered the building uninhabitable, was determined by fire officials to be caused by cigarettes that were improperly put out.

It began in an area that does not house offenders and was deemed to be accidental.

Despite the fact that the centre is a non-smoking facility, several cigarette butts were discovered near the fire’s point of origin.

“The news that the fire was caused by someone smoking on the premises is extremely disappointing,” Landry said in a statement on Oct. 26.

WATCH: Fire at jail in Shediac, N.B.

Click to play video: 'Fire at jail in Shediac, N.B.' Fire at jail in Shediac, N.B.
Fire at jail in Shediac, N.B – Oct 25, 2017

Since the fire, the 160 offenders that were in the SRCC have been moved to other facilities throughout the province.

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