Inmate facing new charges after starting fire in jail

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jul 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-12 18:29:40-04

Brandon Aaron Fritz, 31, was charged with arson and attempted escape from jail on June 30.

According to the affidavit, jailers working the L-Wing at the Jack Harwell Detention Center were doing their final rounds before a shift change. They were at the opposite end of the wing and noticed a lot of smoke coming from one of the cells. 

The fire was started in front of the door, directly under a big wood box used for mail, medical requests and grievances. The jailers tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher after the flames grew to be more than 4-feet tall.

The Waco Fire Department, ETMC and deputies with the McLennan County Sheriff's Office responded to the incident.

During the evacuation caused by the fire, Fritz tried to escape, according to the affidavit. 

After an investigation, they found that several inmates were upset about the phones not working and were not able to place a commissary order. Three inmates, including Fritz, used the electrical outlet, toilet paper and a toothpaste tube with a makeshift wick to get spark to start the fire.

His bonds, including his original charges, are set at more than $500,000.

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