Fire marshal now says jail can house up to 16
In a surprise move, the state fire marshal’s office reversed its decision and now will allow up to 16 inmates to be housed in the county jail.
County Attorney Susan Robson told the county commission Thursday she was given verbal confirmation and was awaiting a written statement.
After the meeting, Kansas State Fire Marshal Prevention Division Chief Brenda McNorton confirmed that the jail was determined to be in compliance. The decision was made based on information provided by architect Tony Rangel of Law/Kingdon Architecture of Wichita, she said.
This also means the county is no longer required to have a 24-hour fire watch.
The decision was based on a requirement that the jail have 120 square feet of floor space for each person on the second floor — including a jailer and up to three dispatchers.
The county protested an earlier finding that calculated the allowable occupancy on a per-cell basis.
Look for more information about the decision in next week’s edition.