Authorities said a meth lab sparked a fire that consumed a mobile home Monday morning in Franklin County.
Firefighters with Boles and Pacific fire companies responded to the alarm about 8:30 a.m. and found the home in Pacific Summit Estates fully engulfed in flames, according to Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner, head of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit.
Witnesses said they saw a man and a woman run outside as smoke was issuing from the trailer. They got into separate cars and fled the scene, Grellner said.
After that the home erupted in flames.
“We are looking for three suspects in the investigation,” Grellner told The Missourian. He said the Franklin County task force is working with Jefferson County authorities in an effort to locate the suspects.
“Apparently the trailer was only being used to manufacture methamphetamine and for other drug activity,” Grellner said.
When narcotics investigators sifted through the ashes after the fire was extinguished they found evidence that “at least” 50 one-pot meth labs were being stored in the house, according to Grellner.
“The pressure of the water was literally pushing meth labs out through the walls,” Grellner remarked.
While searching through the rubble, officers also found hundreds of empty blister packs that previously contained cold and allergy pills, Grellner said.
“We ended up hauling away two truckloads of materials from the scene,” Grellner said.
A one-pot meth lab involves combining the first three steps of a conventional meth lab into a 2-liter plastic bottle. The process is volatile and can result in explosions and fires.
Pacific Summit Estates is located on Highway 100, just west of Robertsville Road, in the Gray Summit area.