(KFOR Lincoln, October 7, 2023) One inmate is dead following a fire Thursday at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI). Dayne Urbanovsky with the Nebraska Department of Corrections told KFOR News in a media release, 27-year-old Jesse Spenser was one of five inmates who intentionally set fires inside of their cells on a housing unit around 6:00 p.m. Thursday. Staff members responded immediately, including members of the facility’s Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT). Inmates in the affected cells initially refused staff directives. Three inmates then complied and were escorted out. Two others, including Spenser, continued to refuse. Staff members went in to retrieve them. Spenser was found lying in his cell. Staff members engaged in life saving efforts, but he could not be revived.
Staff members quickly extinguished the fires, which were out by the time local fire crews arrived at TSCI. No other housing units were impacted. No other inmates required medical attention. Two staff members were examined at the hospital for non-serious medical situations related to the incident.
As is the case whenever an inmate dies in the custody of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS), a grand jury will also conduct an investigation.