"Suspicious" apartment fire caused by active meth lab

PARMA, Ohio - Police in Parma are now searching for the suspects responsible for a "cooking meth lab" that caught fire Friday.

A Police spokesperson told NewsChannel 5 Saturday, what's believed to be two suspects, fled the building and never returned after the Parma Fire Department responded to reports of black smoke coming from a 3rd floor apartment.

Eighteen firefighters responded to 5257 Knollwood Drive just before 8 p.m. Friday.

A spokesperson for the Parma Fire Department said a neighbor called for help after hearing a smoke detector alarm.

The fire was contained to the third floor apartment where it originated.  No one was in the apartment at the time of the fire.  Flames were quickly extinguished but investigators, including the regional Hazmat Team, were called to the scene when firefighters reported seeing suspicious materials.

Officials said a member from BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigations) also responded and confirmed the fire started as a result of a "cooking meth lab."

"I didn't even know anybody was in there really, because I didn't see anyone move in," said Ray Pratt, one of the eight tenants evacuated once firefighters discovered the meth lab.  Those tenants were eventually allowed back in.

"I'm a little bit worried but they seemed to have taken care of everything now," said Pratt as he shrugged his shoulders, still concerned over what's left in the apartment.  

There were no injuries reported. Police have now taken over the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Parma Police Department.

 

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