JEFFERSON CITY — Fire officials say a fire that damaged a housing unit at the former Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City apparently was caused by embers from a nearby prescribed burn.

Jefferson City Fire Chief Matt Schofield said the fire Wednesday afternoon on the roof of Housing Unit 2 was extinguished quickly. No injuries were reported.

Schofield said the fire department was helping with a prescribed training burn on vegetation on adjacent city property, and an airborne ember apparently ignited the roofing, insulation and vegetation on the building’s roof.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports the housing unit was significantly damaged in the May 22 tornado.

The state Office of Administration had earlier estimated it could cost more than $3 million to repair the damage to the prison from the tornado.

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