The director commends his staff on how they acted in a risky situation, they isolated the incident to a confined area and kept the staff members and the rest of the prison under control.
Staff members reported a fire on a mini-yard connected to one of the housing units about 1:30 p.m., and about 40 inmates on the mini-yard and inside one-half of the housing unit were ordered to go to their cells but refused, the department said.
The Corrections Department said emergency response teams had entered the unit and the unit was habitable.
Some lawmakers are accusing prison officials of trying to downplay the incident at the prison, where two inmates were killed in a May 2015 revolt that caused millions of dollars in damage and demands for upgrades and better staffing.
Two inmates were killed and others were injured in a Nebraska prison Thursday after inmates revolted against staff members and started a fire in a courtyard. Staff exited the dayroom "when it became clear it was unsafe", and secured the door leading to the rest of the housing unit. Prison officials have insisted that it wasn't a "riot" and they stressed that the public outside the prison was never in danger. An unspecified number of inmates suffered injuries that weren't life-threatening, Frakes said.
"We've seen so many improvements over the a year ago and a half and I am proud of my team", said Tecumseh Warden Brad Hansen.
Housing Unit 2 can hold as many as 128 inmates. When asked by Brandon Scott of WOWT 6 News how he would categorize the incident he said, "Hmm".
Nebraska State Patrol investigations led to charges in the previous riot.
He said that some of the same conditions that spawned the 2015 riot - overcrowding and lack of rehabilitation programs - still exist in the state prison system. An internal critical incident review is also being conducted.