HOLLIDAYSBURG - A fire in the Blair County prison laundry room a month ago did $128,306 worth of damage, according to estimates provided by an insurance adjuster and delivered to the Blair County Commissioners.
The figure represents the replacement value of the damaged roof and equipment.
The adjuster, Matthew Matus, reduced the damage value by $25,034 as depreciation, reducing the net insurance claim to $103,271.
The prison laundry is located in a former garage and serves as headquarters for the county's highway department.
The facility includes a remodeled area where male inmates can meet with their children.
The prison was placed on lockdown during the late afternoon hours of Nov. 13 when smoke was seen coming from the building, which is separated from the prison by several feet.
Nobody was injured when the fire erupted in one of the prison's dryers.
The roof of the building was also damaged.
The county has property insurance with a $10,000 deductible, as reported during a meeting of the commissioners Nov. 19.
Blair County Chief Clerk Helen Schmitt said Thursday that the commissioners passed an emergency resolution allowing the county to proceed with repairs without bidding the project.
At the time, the county was doing the laundry from Valley View Home.
Since the fire, the nursing home's laundry is being transported to the State Correctional Institution at Somerset.
While county authorities now have an estimate of damage from the fire, Schmitt cautioned the cost of the repair project could be greater once the work begins and the damage is examined in greater detail.
Warden Mike Johnston said the washers in the facility are being used for some cleaning purposes, such as rags used in the prison's kitchen.
He said some parts of the remaining dryers may have to be replaced.
Contractors have visited the facility to determine what repairs must be made, he said.
The warden predicted this week it could be a couple of months before repairs are made and things get back to normal.
The inmate visiting room suffered only smoke damage. That room will have to be cleaned, Johnston said.
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-78468.