Firefighters quickly knocked down a fire Friday afternoon at 37C Bouscay Ave., where authorities suspect there was a meth lab.
"This was a meth lab that caught fire when we executed a search warrant," Norwalk Police Detective Sgt. Seth Fry said.
(NOTE - To see pictures of the crime scene and suspects, click HERE.)
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive illegal stimulant often cooked in homes with flammable components.
Four adults and a child were inside the apartment at the time, but nobody was injured.
"We believe they started it to destroy the evidence," Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton said.
Firefighters are trying to determine the exact cause.
"(There was) nothing rigged like in the movies," Norwalk Fire Chief Shawn Dickerson said. "They'll have a special team come in to analyze it."
Firefighters contained the blaze to a second-floor bedroom.
"Most of the fire was minor damage," Dickerson said.
Residents in apartments B and D were allowed to go back into their homes by about 6 p.m.
"But they are trying to keep foot traffic to a minimum," Dickerson said.
Police are expected to bring in a special investigation unit to process the apartment as a crime scene.
Four people were arrested and jailed Friday.
Paul Prince, 33, of Mansfield, and James J. Arthur II, 29, of Mansfield, each were charged with manufacturing of methamphetamines, a first-degree felony.
Allen Mobberly, 32, of Norwalk, was charged with permitting drug abuse and child endangering, both fifth-degree felonies.
And Samantha Reed was charged with trafficking in heroin, a fifth-degree felony.
The investigation is ongoing, and additional arrests will be made, Fry said.
Police obtained a search warrant from Municipal Court Judge John S. Ridge after Fulton and Fry each received tips about a meth lab inside a Bouscay Avenue apartment, and they determined it was at 37C and involved Prince, Arthur and Mobberly, Fry said.
When officers arrived at 4:55 p.m. and announced their presence, they heard people "rustling around upstairs," Fry said. "Officers were also able to see persons peering out of the upstairs window where the lab was located."
Police entered the residence and saw Prince running from an upstairs bedroom to a bathroom, Fry said. A small fire had been started in the bedroom where an active meth lab was found. Officers hurriedly removed four adults and a 3-year-old child from the apartment.
Firefighters had been positioned at the end of Bouscay Avenue, so they quickly were able to extinguish the fire.
During interviews with the suspects, it was learned the fire had been started by various chemicals used to manufacture meth, Fry said, adding that Prince admitted knocking over a container with chemical byproducts that started the fire.
Read more details about this story in Saturday's Norwalk Reflector.