LAPORTE | A LaPorte County Jail inmate facing murder charges was treated for smoke inhalation after a fire started in his cell Thursday, deputies said.
The fire started at 12:52 p.m. and was put out in seconds by staff members at the jail, said Maj. John Boyd of the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office.
"They prevented a much larger fire," he said. "They acted and reacted so quickly."
He said officials were investigating how the fire started Thursday afternoon. There was a considerable amount of smoke coming from the cell and a mattress that was smoldering was removed, Boyd said.
Marzono R. Shelly, 35, of Michigan City, was treated at IU Health LaPorte Hospital for smoke inhalation and was back in jail by 5 p.m., Boyd said. Shelly was the only person in the cell. Other inmates that were in the area where moved to another secure area within the jail.
Boyd said there were 378 inmates in the jail at the time of the fire but none reported having any injuries.
Shelly was arrested Jan. 20 on charges of murder, robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to jail records.
He's accused of fatally shooting Charles Harper, 73, of Michigan City, who was found dead in his home Jan. 18, Michigan City police said. Shelly is also accused of taking guns, a car and other property from Harper's house.