Feds, prisoners decry fire dangers at Orleans jail

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal lawyers and attorneys for inmates at the New Orleans jail say fire suppression systems in parts of the jail need repair, and they are calling on a federal judge to order swift fixes for what they say are serious, life-threatening deficiencies.

The attorneys filed a motion Tuesday saying a federal judge should find Sheriff Marlin Gusman in contempt for failing to alleviate fire safety concerns addressed in a court-ordered jail reform plan.

Among the remedies sought are repairs of non-functioning fire alarm, sprinkler, and smoke-clearing systems in parts of the Orleans Parish Prison complex.

The motion also calls for weekly fire drills and weekly tests of emergency generators. A hearing has been set in the matter for Monday.

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