Elements of meth lab found after house fire
by Jessica Loeding
Sep 28, 2012 | 1940 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bartow County Fire Department units working a structure fire off Rolling Hills Drive in Cartersville early Thursday morning found the remnants of a possible meth lab.

BCFD Battalion Chief David Levey said the blaze began about 3:30 a.m. at the mobile home off Highway 61 after a candle ignited a recliner in the living room.

Stations 9, 3 and 6 responded to the fire, which was ruled a total loss of the residence. Stations 9, 11 and 6 were called back out to the site Thursday just after 7 a.m. after the blaze rekindled.

Levey said no one was injured in the fire and the single occupant was able to make it out safely.

Once the blaze was under control and considered safe, BCFD called law enforcement after suspicious materials were located in a rear bedroom, according to Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force Commander Capt. Mark Mayton.

“There were caustic materials, solvents and cooking vessels commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine,” Mayton said, adding that the setup had no connection to the fire.

“We made the determination it was enough remnants of a lab but not all the elements it would take to constitute operating a lab,” he said.

Although Mayton said the DTF had made arrests at the residence in the past, no charges are planned in connection with Thursday’s find.

This is the second such situation the BCFD and DTF have encountered, with the other occurring in Euharlee earlier this year after new homeowners discovered an abandoned lab under the floor of a residence.

“As I said in the past, the number of labs we have seen has decreased since they enacted the ephedrine law, which is the one main precursor for making meth,” Mayton said. “Once, we were doing 40 to 50 per year; now, we are seeing about half that.”