Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fire breaks out at Nappanee house during meth arrests
Posted on Feb. 14, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 14, 2013 at 12:10 p.m.

NAPPANEE — A search warrant for methamphetamine manufacturing led to the arrest of two suspects Wednesday evening, Feb. 13, and the house caught fire while officers were there.

The Elkhart County Interdiction and Covert Enforcement Unit — also known as the ICE Unit — served a search warrant at 455 W. Indiana Ave., Nappanee, around 8:45 p.m., said Ed Windbigler, chief investigator at the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office.

Unit officers arrested Charles Thompson, 52, who lived in that property, and Dana Hall, 55, of 402 Main St., Nappanee.

According to a press release from the prosecutor’s office, members from the Elkhart County Emergency Services Unit, who assisted the ICE Unit, entered the house and found a man who tried to flee. As the suspect entered a room on the second floor a fire erupted.

Though it is not clear what started the fire, officials believe it was caused by chemicals used in the process of manufacturing meth, Windbigler said.

The Nappanee Fire Department responded to the fire, confirmed a firefighter at the station. No one was injured. A meth response team was called to collect evidence from the residence, which is now considered contaminated by the meth chemicals, according to the press release.

Thompson was arrested on preliminary charges of manufacturing meth and maintaining a common nuisance. Hall was arrested on preliminary charges of manufacturing meth and visiting a common nuisance. Both men were booked at the Elkhart County Jail without a bond.