"The disturbance at Ashwell Prison sounded 'like a war', according to one eyewitness. Beverly Cardell, who lives near the prison, said: "My son woke me at 1am and said there were loads of police about.
"We could hear lots of noise, shouting, banging and general noise from the prison.
"You could see flames and there's smoke over the prison now.
"In 23 years we've had incidents like when some lads where on the roof, but nothing ever this bad. It was like a war."