UPDATE: Meth-Related Fire at Culloden Apartment Complex; Firefighters Decontaminated

By: Josh McComas, Randy Yohe Email
By: Josh McComas, Randy Yohe Email

UPDATE 10/23/12 @ 4:50 p.m.
CULLODEN, Wv (WSAZ) -- In Cabell County, firefighters had to literally return to the scene of the crime Tuesday morning.

Fighting the fire was followed by a second round of decontamination because the rooms that burned recently housed a young child, several adults -- and a working meth lab.

The Culloden Fire Department responded, once again, to the Maplewood Place apartments, about 10 a.m. Tuesday

The chief says what's not unusual is that the fire was confined to one unit in back and likely started in the kitchen, but he says what sparked extra caution was that the apartment had been padlocked and boarded up since august after a working meth lab bust.

The big question -- was anything ‘working’ again?

“The bad news is you don't figure it out until you're right in the middle of it -- the bad part of meth labs is that you don know until it's too late," Fire Chief Jason Burger said. "The good part is, all of the materials that were here when they made the first bust are gone."

The chief didn’t know if there was any meth residue burned and churned into the air.

After putting out the fire, procedure called for treating the entire fire scene as if it was still contaminated.

”We've decontaminated all the guys that were here, we've decontaminated all the equipment, and we’ll treat is as if it was live just to be on the safe side,” said Chief Burger.

After the August meth bust, there was a mass evacuation of the 12 unit Maplewood Place complex. Since then, only two apartments have been reoccupied.

Tenant Samantha Heath says she got out of harm’s way, through a window.

“We've got some angry people out there," said Heath. "What will I do now? I don't know, we'll have to see what they say.”

Chief Burger said that they will have to relocate, maybe for a little while.

In the August meth lab bust, police say there was a 16-month-old child in the apartment when the meth was cooking.

So far, no cause of Tuesday's fire has been determined.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 10/23/12
CULLODEN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Firefighters are being decontaminated after fighting a fire at a Culloden apartment complex.

The fire was at the Maplewood Apartment complex.

According to the Culloden Fire Chief, the fire started just before 10 a.m. in the kitchen area of one of the apartments.

The apartment where the fire started was the scene of a meth lab bust in August. Due to the bust, the apartment was still boarded up when the fire started Tuesday morning. Crews on the scene say the door was padlocked.

There are 12 apartments in building. Four people are currently living in the apartments -- two of them were at work and two were at home

Firefighters tell our crew at the scene that there doesn't appear to be a current meth lab in the apartment. As a precaution, firefighters are being decontaminated outside of the apartment complex.

Four people were charged in connection with the meth lab back in August.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 8/21/12
CULLODEN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Four people were arrested after meth making ingredients were found inside an apartment in Culloden on Sunday.

The bust happened at Maplewood Place Apartments just off of Rt. 60.

W.Va. State Police say they received an anonymous complaint that the people in the apartment were cooking meth and there were air fresheners in the air conditioner vents to cover up the smell. The person also said there was a 16-month-old in the apartment.

Troopers said inside the residence they found a number of ingredients to make meth along with three children.

State Police arrested and charged several people in connection with making meth. Lisa Peterson, 38, of Hurricane, is being charged with attempting to operate a meth lab and exposure of children to meth. Oscar Peterson, 32, of Hurricane, is being charged with attempting to operate a meth lab and exposure of children to meth. Also charged is Michael Arnold, 32, of Hurricane, with attempting to operate a meth lab and exposure of children to meth. Courtney Fleming, 22, of Huntington, is also being charged with attempting to operate a meth lab and exposure of children to meth.

ORIGINAL STORY 8/19/12 @ 10:32 p.m.
CULLODEN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two men have been taken to jail after being accused of making meth in an apartment complex.

The bust happened at Maplewood Place just off of Rt. 60 in Culloden.

W.Va. State Police say they were tipped off by neighbors.

Troopers haven't released the suspect's names, but say one of them might be connected to another recent meth bust.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

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