San Quentin Prison Fire Charged to Arson

Issue 5 and Volume 104.

San Quentin Prison Fire Charged to Arson A $3 million fire that destroyed the San Quentin, Calif., Prison jute mill April 19 was probably caused by convicted arsonists, according to Warden Clinton F. Duffy. The Warden ordered two convicts, “definitely suspected of arson,” into solitary confinement, together with another convict believed to have knowledge of the fire. The fire destroyed the 69-year-old mill and its 85 looms. Known to many thousands of inmates as a “hell hole” and destined for replacement with a modern structure already two-thirds completed, the old twostory brick-walled prison within a prison burst into flames while 700 of the 850 prisoners assigned to work there were on the job. The inmates disliked the jute mill because for most of them it was their introduction to prison work. The 85 looms in the mill, brought from Scotland long ago and kept in repair by prison mechanics, turned…

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