LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) - Investigators believe a fire that destroyed a Logansport home Saturday afternoon was the result of an active meth lab inside.
At approximately 3:52 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to a home located in the 500 block of West Linden Avenue. When they arrived on the scene, the homeowner was spotted exiting the home. He was identified as John J. Rose, 65. Rose told firefighters there was no one else inside the home.
Firefighters entered the home but had to get out due to extreme heat. During the time they were inside the home, they claim to have found several items that were associated with manufacturing methamphetamine.
Firefighters continued to work to contain the fire from the outside. The Logansport/Cass County Drug Task Force along with the Indiana State Police Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team was called in to investigate the possible meth lab. A search warrant was obtained.
The search led to the discovery of more than 100 one-pot cooking vessels, 155 HCL generators and more than 20 45 gallon bags of meth trash. Indiana State Police said in a news release that it took more than seven hours to collect all of the evidence from inside the home.
Investigators said evidence indicated the house fire occurred while meth was being manufactured. The house is a total loss. The homeowner, Rose, left the scene before the fire was out. Around 5:30 p.m., he was arrested at his girlfriend's home in Logansport. He was taken to the Cass County Jail. He faces charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and maintaining a common nuisance.
"In my 15 years of law enforcement I have never encountered a drug lab this large," said Deputy Pat Zeider of the Logansport/Cass County Drug Task Force. "We are fortunate no one was injured considering there were over 100 one pot cooking vessels and a house fire."
If you know or suspect meth activity, you are urged to contact the local law enforcement agency in your community. You can also make an anonymous report by calling the Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Tip Line at 1(800) 453-4756.
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