(WASHINGTON) - A house fire at 1205 W. Walnut St. on Friday has been called suspicious by police and fire officials who believe the fire was caused by a one-pot meth lab.
Washington Police Dispatch received a 911 call at 9:37 p.m. advising the residence was on fire. The female caller called again a few minutes later to say everyone was safely out of the house.
Washington Police Detective Daniel Christie said he believes no one was injured in the blaze.
He said one of the residents, 35-year-old Rhett Truelove, has not been available to interview about the fire, so it's uncertain if he's injured. Washington Fire Chief David Rhoads said Truelove, an adult female and two children lived at the residence, which is owned by Joe Bynum.
Christie is wanting to talk to Truelove, but they are not sure where he is.
Truelove had been on home detention since June 23 of this year after being sentenced in Daviess County Superior Court on June 13 to three years for resisting law enforcement, operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a minor, and neglect of a dependent, all Class D felonies. Truelove was allowed to serve his sentence on home detention, which requires him to, among other things, avoid alcoholic beverages and nonprescribed drugs.
Though Christie and Rhoads are still waiting for the final investigative reports, both said evidence points to the origin of the fire being a one-pot meth lab. Christie said items found at the scene are consistent with that, and Rhoads explained that the one-pot labs create a flash fire like the one that met firefighters Friday.
"It started in the bedroom," said Rhoads, who was on the scene until around 1:30 a.m. "There was smoke damage through the whole house."
He said it will take a lot of work to make the house livable again, but the structure is still sound. Fortunately for the family, he said, firefighters were able to save their Christmas gifts.
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