crime scene (copy)

A pile of garbage was set ablaze Sunday in the middle of a dormitory inside a South Carolina medium-security prison, a state corrections official said.

S.C. Department of Corrections spokesman Jeff Taillon said in a statement that a dorm at Kershaw Correctional Institution was being cleaned after "feeding and food containers" were piled up on the floor to be taken to the trash.

As the garbage lay on the floor, inmates lit pieces of paper on fire and tossed the burning scraps into the trash heap, Taillon said, adding that there were no reported injuries and the blaze was extinguished "quickly." Taillon called the setting of the small fire a "deliberate act" by the inmates.

A video uploaded to Facebook on Sunday afternoon, which appears to have been recorded by an inmate at the facility, shows trash strewn about the dormitory floor and a pile of food containers on fire as plumes of dark smoke fill the air. At least two videos of the incident were published on social media.

The inmates' cells overlook the area of the dorm where the fire took place.

SCDC officials did not immediately respond to questions seeking to clarify what devices inmates allegedly used to ignite the fire or how long it took to extinguish the blaze.

The prison is located in the Midlands about 60 miles northeast of Columbia. Earlier this year, seven inmates were killed during an hours-long riot that injured 17 others at Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum-security state prison. The incident prompted Gov. Henry McMaster to issue an emergency at S.C. prisons, which enabled SCDC to relax hiring regulations so it could increase salaries and hire additional staff to bolster security at the network of prisons.

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Reach Michael Majchrowicz at 843-607-1052. Follow him on Twitter @mjmajchrowicz.

Michael Majchrowicz is a reporter covering crime and public safety. He previously wrote about courts for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, Massachusetts. A Hoosier native, he graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.