Authorities now believe that the Sunday night fire at Park Haven Nursing Home in Ashtabula, Ohio started in a secret meth lab located in the home's basement.
According to CNN, Ashtabula Fire Department Chief Ron Pristera did not state in his Monday news release how the fire department came to this conclusion, but pictures of the room where the fire started, provided by the department, show severe fire damage to the walls and a blackened table with unidentified objects on it. Pristera says that 39 names were on the roster for the home. Auditors have released that the home was built in 1950 and had 31 rooms.
CBS News reports that the fire broke out shortly after 8:30 p.m. Sunday night and firefighters worked on containing the flames until almost 2:00 a.m. Five engine companies, one ladder company, 26 firefighters, and 8 emergency medical personnel were on the scene, according to CNN.
Five victims were taken to a hospital Sunday night and two were treated on the scene. CNN reports that one of the five transferred victims died in transit to a burn unit at another local hospital. The identity of this person has not been released.
Ashtabula Police Chief Robert Stell told a local newspaper that two of the burn victims have drug charges pending against them, according to CBS News. Stell said that their names will not be released until they have been officially charged and appear in court.
CBS News writes the following about meth, "Methamphetamine is a highly addictive illegal stimulant often cooked in homes with flammable components. State officials say more than 300 meth labs were broken up last year."
The USA TODAY says that a lawyer for the nursing home declined to comment on this event.
CNN reports that the fire department says the Ashtabula Police Department will continue to investigate the case with the towns' fire prevention bureau.