Motel meth fire: Three rooms condemned, man charged in blaze
From Staff Reports
A Maryville man is in custody following a meth-related fire in a room at the Princess Motel on U.S. 411 South early Tuesday morning.
Roger Pete Porter, 44, Floyd Porter Road, is charged with initiating the process of the manufacture of methamphetamine, according to the Blount County Sheriff’s Office. A woman was taken into custody for investigation but released with no charges.
Maryville Police and Fire departments responded to a fire alarm at the motel at around 2:15 a.m. When they arrived, they found a fire in one of the units.
Maryville police officers entered the room and found what appeared to be a meth lab. Investigators with the 5th Judicial Drug Task Force arrived, and after interviewing Porter, they learned Porter was in the process of manufacturing meth when the lab caught on fire.
An individual in a neighboring room was treated for smoke inhalation after he attempted to douse the fire with a fire extinguisher prior to the Fire Department’s arrival.
Porter and a woman who was in the room with him were decontaminated by Maryville firefighters at the scene.
Rural/Metro Ambulance Service also responded. The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force was on the scene to dispose of the hazardous materials.
Drenda Tuttle, the motel’s manager, said the motel’s alarm went off and police, Rural/Metro and fire trucks were on the scene shortly after. She wasn’t aware of any suspicious activity occurring.
“I had to move people that were on the other side of that room,” Tuttle said. I really don’t know anything else.”
Porter is being held on a $75,000 bond at the Blount County Detention Facility pending a 9 a.m. Feb. 20 hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court.
The incident was the sixth meth lab case of 2013, according to the Sheriff’s Office.