Bellefonte, PA County Prison Fire, Jan 1959

Jail Fire Bellefonte Jail, 1910s


Bellefonte, Pa., Jan. 19. -- Fourteen short-term prisoners were on the honor system today because of a lack of jail facilities.
The 90-year-old Centre County Jail was destroyed by a weekend fire.
Since there was no place to house the prisoners they were permittedto go to their own homes with orders to report periodically to local probation offices.
At the height of the fire Friday night, State Police helped the inmates "escape" by placing ladders against a 16-foot high wall. Only JOHN McKEE, 21, of Horseheads, N. Y., was injured. He suffered a fractured leg in jumping from the second floor of the rambling stone structure.
Sheriff MARTIN KAUFFMAN, his wife, two sons and mother-in-law, who lived in the building, all fled uninjured. KAUFFMAN said he believed the fire started in the kitchen.

Daily News Huntingdon Pennsylvania 1959-01-19