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Family near Springfield escapes meth lab fire next door

A couple of men who live at the motel were able to dump water on the fire and put it out before firefighters arrived.

July 25, 2011|by Linda Russell, KY3 News | lrussell@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Greene County Sheriff's Department is investigating a fire at a residential motel that they believe was started by a methamphetamine lab.  The fire started around 5:30 Monday morning in Unit 17 of the Cloud Drift Motel.  Neighbors like William Dunn and his family are just glad it wasn't worse. 

Dunn has lived at the motel for about a month and a half. 

"My girlfriend says, the last few days, she smelled something kind of weird," Dunn said.

That strange smell was likely the meth lab that caught unit 17, just next door to Dunn's unit, on fire. 

"I was just getting ready to get up anyway about 4:45 and there was banging on my door, saying there was a fire and everything," Dunn said.

He, his pregnant girlfriend, and their three girls got out okay. 

"I stayed in my pajamas and ran out," said Ariel, 8.

A child in another unit had a panic attack, but no one was hurt by the fire. 

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"It was just too scary for us," Ariel said.

A couple of men who live at the motel were able to dump water on the fire and put it out before Brookline firefighters arrived. 

"If this place would have blew up, everybody would have been gone," Dunn said.

Still, Dunn and his family won't stick around.

"We can't be here with the baby on the way," Ariel said.

"I'm going to get out of here in the next few weeks," Dunn said.

People at the motel say two people who were in the unit that caught fire walked away, but the sheriff's department says two suspects were being questioned.   No arrests had been made by Monday afternoon but the investigation was ongoing.

Last year in Greene County, there were 79 meth busts.  In 2009, there were 46.

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