Meth lab may have caused fire

By Janice Gregorson

Officials now believe an illegal meth lab operation may have caused an early morning fire at a Rochester storage facility Wednesday, resulting in an estimated $200,000 damage.

Firefighters were called to Care Free Mini Storage at 2907 S. Broadway about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday after neighbors reported hearing what sounded like firecrackers.

Firefighters found one of the storage units on fire when they arrived. The blaze quickly spread. In all, 25 units and their contents were either destroyed or damaged before the fire was put out.


Flammable liquids and other chemicals often used in the manufacture of methamphetamine were found where the fire started, according to Police Lt. John Edwards.

He said this morning that police are trying to locate and talk to the man who rented the storage unit where the fire started. Edwards said it is believed that someone was in the process of making meth when the fire started and that person may have suffered burns to an arm.

This is the second meth-related structure fire in Rochester this year. In March, firefighters were called to a home in southeast Rochester to put out a blaze in a lower-level room. The tenant, Robert Ostrom, 29, fled and ran to Olmsted Community Hospital suffering from third-degree burns on his hands and arms.

That fire caused some $90,000 damage to the house. Ostrom was charged with first-degree controlled substance crime for manufacturing meth in his room.

He pleaded guilty and is due to be sentenced in November.

What To Read Next
Get Local