JC Apartment House Fire Cause Linked to Meth Lab
Fire damaged the apartment building at 20 Mildred Avenue on June 1, 2016. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]Police believe a Johnson City blaze that left several people homeless started as a result of a meth-making operation in the apartment building.
Village Police Chief Brent Dodge said investigators had recently learned of likely drug activity in one of the three units at 20 Mildred Avenue.
At the scene on Wednesday morning, Dodge said he advised firefighters to take precautions because the blaze could be "meth-related."
No explosions or other specific problems were reported as a result of volatile substances that may have been present during the fire.
The police chief said Thomas Manwarren and Dawn Velapoldi were "interviewed extensively" at the fire scene. The two later were charged in connection with the possible meth lab and with marijuana possession.
Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Dodge said because of the evidence discovered by investigators, he believes the "fire was the result of the meth-manufacturing process."
Dodge acknowledged it may not be possible to prove that was the exact cause.
The police chief expressed relief that no one was injured as a result of the blaze. He noted a police officer rushed into the burning building to look for a two-year-old child who was thought to have been trapped inside. It turned out the child already was safely out of the structure.
Firefighters on the scene of the Mildred Avenue blaze on June 1, 2016. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.