Trish Bennett, Editor
CIRCLEVILLE – The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation of a suspected meth lab fire in Ross County on Monday as part of the US Route 23 Major Crimes Task Force.
Michael Gierhart, 38, and Hydie Hettinger, 40, were arrested in connection with the incident and transported to the Ross County Jail.
According to a press release issued by the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began about 5 a.m. Monday in the 2400 block of state Route 327 in Londonderry. Ross County deputies were dispatched to a house fire at a vacant home, which resulted in a total loss of the property.
Investigators from the Ohio Division of State Fire Marshal discovered items at the scene consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine, according to Sheriff George Lavender, and the Major Crimes Task Force was called in to investigate.
Investigators from Ross, Pickaway and Pike counties, along with the Fire Marshal’s office, obtained a search warrant and discovered chemicals and materials consistent with a meth lab operation.
Sheriff Robert Radcliff, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, said the incident was just another indication the local drug problem extends well beyond the Pickaway County borders.
“We all have to work together to combat it, and we do that as part of the task force,” Radcliff said.
Fire departments from Liberty and Jefferson Townships also were on the scene Monday to assist in clean up, Lavender said.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal