Illinois Day Care Evacuated After Meth Lab Fire

Illinois Day Care Evacuated After Meth Lab Fire

News Jan 04, 2013

SOUTH ROXANA, Ill. -- A 33-year-old man is likely to face multiple felony charges after 10 children and two workers were evacuated from an in-home daycare when he allegedly set a garage on fire while making meth.

Lt. Bob Coles with the South Roxana Police Department said investigation ensued after the South Roxana Fire Protection District responded around 3 p.m. Wednesday to a 911 call for a structure fire in the 1300 block of Gonterman Street where an alleged meth lab was discovered in a detached garage. The fire was quickly knocked down by firefighters.

Coles said the fire took place approximately 17 feet from the residence. The lab exploded, caught the garage on fire and smoke filtered toward the house.

Coles said warrants have been filed, and charges against the man could come as early as next week. The man is likely to face multiple felony counts for manufacturing a narcotic, he said.

The charges could be enhanced due to the fact the house sits approximately 300 feet of a church and 400 feet from a school.

Coles said the man was taken into police custody on unrelated warrants and he is currently being held at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was also contacted about the incident. However, South Roxana police said state officials told them that because the explosion and fire did not occur inside the house/daycare an investigation by the state department wasn't necessary.

State Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, pushed legislation last year in the Senate that went into effect last July. It allows DCFS to investigate situations where parents, or others, intentionally place children in danger.

Although there was no fire directly in the home, contamination can come from the meth cooking process due to exposure from the chemicals in close proximity.

Coles said the owner of the daycare facility, who was not identified, claimed not to know anything about the operation of the lab.

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During the investigation it was also discovered that the owner was running an unlicensed daycare, he said. Reportedly at one time the owner had a license, but it has since lapsed, authorities said.

Copyright 2013 - The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.
Cynthia M. Ellis
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