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November 8, 2013

Saranac fire investigation leads to meth arrest

SARANAC — Methamphetamine materials discovered during a Saranac house fire Wednesday led to the arrest of one of the home’s residents.

Bradley A. Rascoe, 27, of 315 Canning Road, was charged Thursday with third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, a felony, according to a press release from Plattsburgh-based State Police.

He was arraigned Thursday afternoon and sent to Clinton County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. He is due back in court 6 p.m. Nov. 12.

When Saranac Volunteer Fire Department firefighters responded to the blaze at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, the house was “engulfed” in flames, Capt. Andrew Petrashune said, leading the department to call for assistance from Plattsburgh, Cadyville and Dannemora. 

The Morrisonville and AuSable Forks departments were on standby.

Though he said the home was a total loss, Petrashune said the firefighting efforts were straightforward with no unusual challenges. The fire was extinguished in about a half hour, he said. 

No one was inside the home at the time, but a dog died in the blaze.

‘FRUSTRATING CHALLENGE’

The house, described by Petrashune as a double-wide mobile home, belonged to Randy and Lisa Rascoe, according to the Clinton County Real Property Office website.

Shortly after entering the home, Petrashune said, firefighters discovered the drug-manufacturing materials. The State Police Troop B Narcotics Enforcement Unit and Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team were called in to investigate.

Petrashune said the cause of the fire was still under investigation. It did not appear to be caused by drug manufacturing, according to the State Police release. 

Exact details on the materials located in the home were not available as of press time.

Though Petrashune said the presence of drug materials in the home did not cause any additional difficulties, he said the threat of encountering dangerous materials when called to a fire is a frustrating challenge in modern firefighting.

“It’s something else that the Fire Department has to encounter and worry about,” Petrashune said.

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