MCSO detention officer fired after jail flood - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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MCSO detention officer fired after jail flood

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Flooding at MCSO's Fourth Avenue Jail. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Flooding at MCSO's Fourth Avenue Jail. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

A Maricopa County Sheriff's detention officer has been fired after hanging from a pipe at the downtown Phoenix jail in December, causing it to break and flood the complex.

Terry Wheeler was fired Jan. 27 after being with the department for less than a year, MCSO authorities said.

The initial damage estimate is near $250,000 but could go higher as some areas of the jail still are being repaired.

The incident occurred after a high pressure fire sprinkler pipe broke in a third floor control tower. 

Lt. Brandon Jones with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said the break released thousands of gallons of water, which flooded the floors below.

Water also gushed into the central intake area. 

Wheeler, who had been on the job for less than a year, was put on paid administrative leave.

The flood caused about 50 inmates, all of them part of a housekeeping detail, to temporarily move to Tent City while the cleanup took place.

Some doors did not operate properly for a time, so officers stood guard to ensure safety and security of the building, staff and other inmates. 

"The important thing is no injuries or behavioral disruptions occurred," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio. "And now operations are back to normal." 

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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