Inmate charged with starting fire in the Jail

An inmate of the Saline County Jail since late August has been charged with aggravated arson and felony trafficking of contraband in a correctional facility, after heScreen Shot 2013-09-11 at 11.10.01 AM started a small fire Monday afternoon in his cell.

Sheriff Glen Kochanowski said 23-year-old Zachary Ruehlen of Clay Center was booked into jail on August 26th on a felony obstruction warrant from the Kansas Department of Corrections.

On August 29th while being moved to another inmate pod in the jail, it was discovered that Ruehlen had six wooden matches and a striker plate from a matchbox among his personal items.

He was charged with rules violations of the jail and placed in an individual cell and that is where he set what is believed to have been toilet paper on fire in a air vent in his cell.

Smoke from the small fire caused set off the fire alarm, and the Salina Fire Department responded and cleared out the smoke.

Corrections officers discovered where the fire had been set.  A small amount of paint and the vent were damaged.

Kochanowski said officers are not sure how Ruehlen was able to get the matches to start the fire on Monday.