Jay Prison Camp

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The Jay Prison Camp was a former World War II barrack building in Berrydale near Jay that was converted to house prison inmates serving in chain gangs.

On July 16, 1967, a fire broke out inside the 40-by-90-foot building, believed to have been ignited during a riot between recently integrated black and white prisoners. The inferno quickly grew "tree-top high," and only 14 of the 51 inmates escaped the fiery building — one of whom died of burns later in the hospital. Nineteen bodies were discovered in the shower room huddled four feet high, and another sixteen were stacked under a barred window.

Arnie O. Lovett, one of the guards on duty during the fire, was later commended for his part in rescuing five inmates at great risk to himself.