EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSRecent Fires At Former Meth Houses Highlight Problem In State
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Katelyn Sykes
Web Producer: Katelyn Sykes
Reported: Oct. 16, 2013 12:16 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 16, 2013 1:29 PM EDT
Sissonville , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A former meth house in Nitro burned to the ground Wednesday morning making it the second fire at an abandoned meth house in Kanawha County in less than twelve hours.
County leaders said it's a big problem in the county. They said there are between 40 and 45 condemned meth houses in the county and that's only county unincorporated areas of the county. That's not including cities, like Nitro, the scene of Wednesday morning's fire.
But Tuesday night's fire in Sissonville was one of them. County leaders said a meth lab was found at this home in April and had been condemned and boarded up ever since.
They said every time a meth lab is found police have to report it to 911 officials who keep track of all of them in the county. That way they know if there's a fire somewhere they're able to tell if the home had meth in it of if there's one nearby that did.
Sadly, leaders said that the majority of the time they bust a home for meth in the county and board up the building they expect it to burn.
The county was in the process of seeking a court order to tear down the house in Sissonville that burned on Tuesday night and had expected to demolish it within the next 45 days.
"It seems like the longer these meth houses sit that's when we start seeing them catch on fire," said David Armstrong, Kanawha County Commission. "A lot of the times we get to the point where the county is seeking a court order and the closer we get to that time of demolition it seems like these things catch on fire for some reason."
Armstrong said Kanawha County is the only county in the nation that has an ordinance that allows them to board up meth houses and tear them down if the owners dont' remediate.
That's a county ordinance, not city.
Armstrong said it takes anywhere from a year to 15 months to get these houses torn down.
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