Fifty inmates who took three guards hostage at a maximum-security prison for New York's toughest convicts gave up after they got what they wanted - someone to listen to their complaints.

The inmates ended a 26-hour standoff peacefully Wednesday afternoon after a television station interviewed four inmates and two hostages, and an audiotape of the interview was played throughout the Southport Correctional Facility.However, six small fires were set in a cellblock hours later. Twenty-one inmates were removed from their cells for about an hour while firefighters doused the flames, said guards who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The hostages said they were treated well.

"After about half the night, my fears started to be calm because I realized I was going to be treated fairly," said guard Mark Brown, the only one of the hostages to be hospitalized. He was listed in good condition overnight at Arnot-Ogden Memorial Hospital in Elmira.

"I can't blame them for going, for doing what they had to do," said Robert Tuttle, one of those held. "Conditions got pretty bad. We don't have enough staff, and if you don't have enough staff, they're not getting what they're entitled to."

State Corrections Commissioner Thomas Coughlin said the rebellious inmates would probably be moved "quite quickly" from Southport.