Fire set near active meth lab in Norwalk apartment

Fire starts in Bouscay Avenue apartment as cops use search warrant.
Cary Ashby
Mar 31, 2013


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.



only the finest.


This is terrifying. A meth lab is very explosive. That small fire could have taken out several city blocks. So scary. There are so many innocent children in that area. I would support an attempted murder charge just for having the equipment there. Thank GOD no one was injured.


You really have no idea of what you are talking about.


Illinois Attorney General:

One factor that makes meth labs so dangerous is the highly volatile nature of the hazardous chemicals used to make meth. Carelessness in the handling and storage of these chemicals frequently causes fires and explosions. Meth cooks often seal windows to keep the odors created by meth manufacture from escaping and giving away the lab location. This practice increases the risk of fire and explosion by diminishing ventilation of flammable gasses.

Fires and explosions are so common in meth labs that – according to some estimates – they are responsible for roughly fifteen percent of lab discoveries. This fact has led some law enforcement authorities to comment, only half in jest, that it’s easy to find a meth by just looking for the fire. These fires and explosions are often fatal, often killing the meth makers themselves and sometimes killing others as well.

In addition to posing fire and explosion hazards, meth labs produce toxic fumes, vapors and spills. Not only are the chemicals used to make meth hazardous, but the compounds and byproducts which result from its manufacture are toxic. Exposure to low levels of some meth ingredients may produce headache, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Exposure to high levels can produce shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, dizziness, lack of coordination, eye and tissue irritation, chemical burns to the skin, eyes, mouth, and nose, and – ultimately – death.

Sitting In The ...

But if there was an explosion it wouldn't of taken out "several city blocks" It would of most likely been severe damage to that apartment building. Thankfully the NFD was standing by and was able to contain the fire very quickly. All to often innocent people are injured. I'm shocked the woman who dropped her kid off couldn't smell it at all.


From what has been said it was "her" damn apartment.
And if it's the same Sam girl,she's been there for a while.
Not her 1st rodeo.


WMD??? "several city blocks"? LOL. But yes, very dangerous

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

@ luvblues2
She doesn't. You will get used to it eventually.


Here's a hot tip. That's probably not the only meth lab on good ol' Bouscay.


I live across the street from there in an apartment building with my two children. Things like this makes me ashamed to tell people where I live. There are too many lowlifes in this town, and it is absolutely disgusting.


Putting all of the families around here at risk. Just shameful.


wow!! can't believe this!
Might have let it all burn.
I heard heat is the way to kill bed bugs!
So sickening!
There are many children who call that place home.
Pray that the little 3 yr old gets put in better hands!
Tell me that things don't happen for a reason! wow wow wow smdh


The only reason why the 3 year old was there was because his mother was at work. Had she had known this was going on she would have NOT let her child be there. He is completely fine and his back in the hands of his mother.


If she didn't know them or know what was going on,then why was she leaving her child with them?


I am the mother of the child me and her father were separated so he was staying there with a friend. The friend was not there. I work 40 hours a week and he has always been a great father. If I had known he would not have been there. If u don't know the situation keep your comments to yourself.


I know enough to say it's a bunch of bullsh!t!
make all the excuses you want.


Is this all u do all day sit around and comment on things u know nothing about. If I had any involvement in this why was he not taken from me. He was there with my neighbor until I arrived. Then released to me along with my other 3 children. So u really need to stop running your mouth!


ladybugs4....blah blah blah
No need to hate on me...i didn't do this.
As a matter of has nothing to do with me.
I'm just sickened by peoples choices and disregard for decency.
You're lucky the kids were released to you.
May I suggest you use better judgement.
Good Luck to you and your children.


You had t have known something...just looking at those idiots, you can tell that they are junkies. If you knew nothing, than you are just plain stupid.


Riiiiiiight. Like these people operating a METH LAB and in possession of HEROIN are upstanding people that a sane person would leave their child with? Get a clue. This mother is either the epitome of obliviousness or has no problem leaving her child in horrible danger. Any thing else is just a fake excuse.

Yall Make Me Sick

Why would the mother leave her child with that kind of loser? Really like she don't know what was going on? Doubt it nice try!

Yall Make Me Sick

Smh! I don't believe any excuse you are trying to give.




Things do happen for a reason, and the reason is hillbillies do dumb things.

be for real

Should do the drug testing on every one on welfare.Fail drug test, no welfare


I agree!!
It's not the location that give's it a bad name now is it?
This kind of crap infuriates me!
Carelessness sickness!


The sad part of doing drug tests on them is if they fail then the kids that need it won't get it. Then what? We can't have a bunch of little ones going to bed hungry. That isn't an option. If they have no children or dependents, then I'm all for it. But even if they have 10 kids that we all pay for, at least I'm sure they get something to eat if the mother/father is a drug addict. And before everyone says otherwise that they sell all of them (foodstamps) for drugs, if that was the case we would have a lot of dead kids out there from starvation. So the kids are getting some benifits. It's just a shame that we all get stuck with the low lifers' bills. If you need it-fine. But it's the system that gives WAY to much and then gives no incentive to find a job or get off welfare. Why would you when you get so much? No win situation. Either we get screwed or the kids get screwed. The welfare parents just get it all. Shame.

hit the road jack

Wrong! if we had any politicians with balls we could cure this problem,if you want to live on welfare,fix'em so they can't have kids,get busted for hard drugs,take the kids away,if they're growing up in this kind of enviroment they won't have any kind of life anyway. Barack and Jessie Jackson would be proud of these fine Govt. benefit dependants.


Who pays for the child's care then? Us? I have no problem paying a little more in you? Probably not. So all of you that want to put everyone in jail, take away the kids, think about it. It all comes down to money. More jails? More money. Orphange? More money. Doesn't have anything to do with balls. It comes down to US. Do WE want to spend for more jails? Orphanages? Almost $40,000 a year per person in prison. I agree-if you are busted with hard drugs then you should have your kids taken. But it is not realistic. Then people will complain about to much taxes. It's a no win situation..Just like I said before. Until we find a cheaper way, it will never happen. If you have a real solution I'm sure the balless politicions would like to hear it. I would also.

hit the road jack

Its like old commercial used to say 'you can pay me now or you can pay me later" you want to pay more cops to arrest these kids as they steal their way into adulthood,only to put them in jail or prison anyway? hell,we raise them anyway in one way or another. I still say bring back the chain gangs,make them clean up trash along the road,anything to make them work and let their friends drive by laughing and ridicule them as they pass.
Everyone think they deserve a free pass or get out of jail free card anymore,its time to quit the free ride crap and knuckle down on the misfits.