Man faces meth-related charges after house fire

Posted: 14th February 2013 by Doc in Uncategorized
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EDWARDSVILLE – A Cottage Hills man was charged Wednesday with two felonies for allegedly starting a weekend fire while making methamphetamine in his home.

John L. Piper, 41, of the 1300 block of Seventh Street, was charged in Madison County Circuit Court with aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacturing and unlawful disposal of methamphetamine manufacturing waste.

John L. Piper



About 9:27 p.m. Sunday, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and the Cottage Hills Fire Department responded to a fire at Piper’s residence, which they found fully engulfed in flames. Deputies met with another occupant of the residence, who had gotten out and confirmed there was nobody else inside. It took the Cottage Hills Fire Department about an hour to 90 minutes to extinguish the fire.

The other resident, who is handicapped, told deputies he had been asleep in his bedroom when he heard a loud pop, and when he went out of the bedroom, he found the home was on fire.

Sheriff’s Department officials said evidence developed during the investigation revealed the fire likely was caused by a clandestine methamphetamine drug lab. Sheriff’s investigators requested the assistance of the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team.

Investigators identified Piper as an occupant of the residence and learned he had fled the home prior to the arrival of emergency personnel.

On Tuesday, investigators located Piper at a business in Wood River. Piper was questioned and detained at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville. The investigation allegedly revealed Piper was producing methamphetamine at the residence when the fire started.

Circuit Judge Kyle A. Napp signed the felony warrant and information against Piper. Bond was set at $100,000.



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