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Fire lit inside cell during disagreement with staff at Edmonton women’s prison

Edmonton police and EMS responding to a fire and disagreement between inmates and staff at the Edmonton Institution for Women (11151-178th St.) in west Edmonton on Friday, January 24, 2019. .
Edmonton police and EMS responding to a fire and disagreement between inmates and staff at the Edmonton Institution for Women (11151-178th St.) in west Edmonton on Friday, January 24, 2019. . Eric Beck, Global News

Three inmates and three staff members of the Edmonton Institution for Women were taken to hospital after an incident at the prison on Thursday.

Edmonton police said they responded around 11:40 p.m. after firefighters reported an arson at the women’s prison in west Edmonton.

Police said there was a disagreement between staff and inmates, so an EPS negotiator was dispatched to speak with the inmates.

However, some items inside the cell were lit on fire, so police said correctional staff moved in and removed all the inmates inside.

READ MORE: Women who escaped Edmonton prison arrested at escape room

The fire was extinguished by sprinklers before firefighters arrived, so they were stood down.

Alberta Health Services said paramedics assessed 20 people on scene.

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Three inmates and three staff members were taken to hospital as a precaution due to smoke inhalation, police said. AHS confirmed it transported two of those patients.

Correctional Service Canada (CSC) said as of 11:30 a.m., all those taken to hospital had been since been released and no injuries were reported.

“Operations at the Edmonton Institution for Women are expected to return to normal by the end of the day,” spokesperson Isabelle Robitaille said.

Both CSC and police said the incident is under investigation.​

Global News reached out to the  Union of Canadian Correctional Officers for more information, but did not receive a reply as of publishing. This story will be updated if we receive a response.

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The Edmonton Institution for Women on 178 Street and 111 Avenue is a multi-level minimum, medium, and maximum security facility designed to address the unique needs of female offenders. It has capacity for 167 inmates.