The Payson Fire Department responded to a house fire at the 400 block of South Bassett Street Wednesday night. The first alarm was called in at 8:05 p.m., and when fire units arrived, they found a singlewide, manufactured home ablaze.
Twenty-five firefighters from Payson and Diamond-Star Fire Departments worked 20 minutes to knock the fire down. Due to the distance from the nearest fire hydrant, more than 1,000 feet of water supply hose from two fire engines had to be used to supply water to the engine. Crews remained on scene for more than two hours to assure the blaze was completely extinguished.
Fire Marshal Jack Babb, along with police officers on scene, conducted interviews with three of the occupants
of the residence and determined the probable cause of the fire was a 2-year-old boy who used a lighter to set fire to a bed. The scene took a strange twist when fire and police officials located chemicals and equipment commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine at the residence.
The residence was secured and turned over to the criminal investigation unit of the Payson Police Department. Officers remained at the house through the night until a search warrant could be served on the residence Thursday afternoon to recover evidence. The warrant was served at about 4 p.m. The police department received assistance from the Gila County Narcotics Task Force clandestine laboratory provisional officer and the Department of Public Safety's hazardous material team. The Payson Fire Department also was on the scene to provide assistance due to the caustic and explosive hazards present.
Detectives are still trying to determine who lives at the residence.
The second lab
Two suspects were taken into custody on multiple drug charges Wednesday following a probation search of their residence in Star Valley.
Gila County Probation Officers Terri Goode, Mark Joerns and David Jones went to the residence of Heather Horne, 32, and Dale Heidrich, 39, for a routine probation visit. The officers began a search of the residence and located drug paraphernalia.
Horne's probation is for a previous conviction of possession of dangerous drugs and burglary. Heidrich is on probation for DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia and use of marijuana. Under their terms of probation, a search of their person, residence and vehicle may be done without their consent by probation officers.
The probation officers took Horne and Heidrich into custody and contacted the Gila County Narcotics Task Force for further assistance in searching the residence.
Task force agents discovered equipment and chemicals commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. The residence was evacuated and secured due to the hazardous material situation.
A search warrant was obtained and served on the residence with the assistance of the Department of Public Safety's hazardous materials, explosive ordinance detail and a chemist.
The search yielded additional chemicals and equipment that had been used in the manufacturing of dangerous drugs. Additionally, agents seized hypodermic syringes, glass smoking pipes, scales and packaging material.
The Drug Enforcement Agency was advised of the situation and made arrangements to send Envirosolve to the scene to collect and dispose of the hazardous waste. Envirosolve is a privately owned company under contract with DEA.
Horne and Heidrich were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of equipment and chemicals to manufacture a dangerous drug. Additional charges are pending.
Goode said her department has filed petitions to revoke Horne and Heidrich's probation. They are both being held without bond.