HARTVILLE, Mo.–A Wright County inmate is on the run after a fire was started in a jail cell. 

The jail is in Hartville, which is two counties east of Springfield.

36-year old Brett Anthony escaped last night after being held at the Hartville jail for a court appearance this past Wednesday until being transported back to the department of corrections. 

 “Last night at about roughly 7:30, we had a fire set in the men’s part of the jail,” says Wright County Sheriff Glenn Adler.

 Jailers say that the fire started in a cell where they believe pages from a Bible were lit with an unknown source causing a mattress to burn and smoke to rise.

“It was just really, really thick,” says Adler. 

The inmates were then shuffled down a hallway by only one on duty jailer.

And because of the fire, 38 inmates were evacuated to the jail’s sally port and some were even brought over to a grassy area where at some point inmate, Brett Anthony escaped.

“The jailer went back there I haven’t had a chance to talk to him, he’s in the hospital. He went back there and scrambling to get inmates out that was coughing and gagging. Meanwhile, when he was getting them out, Brett Anthony made an escape,” says Adler. 

Wright County officials say that there is no active search, but they are asking for the public to call the sheriff’s office if they see Anthony. 

“We’ve only had one tip that originated in Houston. Their checking on that now for us. A possible sighting last night. The Texas County Sheriff is going to check the security footage at a gas station,” says Adler. 

The other Wright County inmates are currently being held at other jails until clean up is finished. 

As for the jailer in the hospital, he’s being treated for smoke inhalation.