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CROWN POINT — Charges filed Wednesday allege a 32-year-old man being held at the Gary City Jail on misdemeanor charges damaged a holding cell Oct. 2 when he set two mattresses and three blankets on fire.

Antonio L. Wright, of Gary, was the only person inside the cell at the time of the fire, Lake Criminal Court records show.

A jail supervisor went to check on a report of a possible fire in a holding area, saw smoke and flames through the window of the cell, opened the door and attempted to put out the fire with an extinguisher, records say.

The officer also pulled Wright from the cell. 

Wright was wearing only red shorts and yelled at medics who arrived to help him, records allege.

Wright was taken to an emergency room, where he was sedated.

Medical staff removed a cigarette lighter from his anus while he was medicated, court records say.

The jail was evacuated, and no injuries were reported among other inmates and staff, police said.

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Wright remained under guard Wednesday at a hospital, where he was still in a coma due to injuries from smoke inhalation and internal burning, documents state.

Wright was initially arrested Oct. 2 after police responded to a business in the 2500 block of Burr Street for a report of a man arguing with customers. 

An officer learned of an active protective order against Wright, and Wright allegedly became irate and began yelling and punching windows.

The officer attempted to detain Wright, but Wright fled and was later arrested.

Wright was charged in Lake Criminal Court with level 4 felony arson. He's facing misdemeanor charges of invasion of privacy and resisting law enforcement in Gary City Court.

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