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Police: Inmate sets fire to clothes in Springfield jail cell

An inmate is accused of setting a fire in his cell at the Springfield Municipal Jail on Thursday, police said.

Posted: Apr 11, 2019 4:45 PM
Updated: Apr 11, 2019 11:49 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- An inmate is accused of setting a fire in his cell at the Springfield Municipal Jail on Thursday, police said.

Richard Rierson, 41, of Springfield now faces charges of first-degree arson, reckless endangering, supplying contraband and criminal mischief.

Police said Rierson was placed in the jail about 15 minutes before setting the fire, which happened at about 11 a.m. They said he took off his inmate clothing before lighting it on fire with a small lighter he had hidden. 

The fire was put out with a fire extinguisher within seconds. Rierson was taken to Riverbend Hospital for precautionary reasons. No one else was injured, and no one else was in Rierson's cell.

Rierson was initially taken to the jail under charges of disorderly conduct, harassment and criminal mischief.

The investigation is ongoing.

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