Man's Alleged Meth Lab Catches Fire In Apartment Complex

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A Watertown man is accused of making methamphetamine, which sparked a fire in his city apartment building Tuesday morning.

Firefighters were called to Curtis Apartments on West Main Street at approximately 12:30 a.m.

Chief Dale Herman said when firefighters went to Apartment 425, the tenant, Steven Laclair, fled the scene.

According to Herman, firefighters found two separate origins of the fire - one in the kitchen and the other in the bedroom.

The blaze was confined to Laclair's apartment and damage was described as moderate.

Tenants in the 107 other units at Curtis Apartments were not evacuated.

Herman said the fires in Laclair's dwelling appeared suspicious, so firefighters called Watertown police, who determined there was a meth lab in the apartment.

"It floored me," said Herman when he heard about the meth lab. "I knew it was in our area, but I didn't expect it in that particular building."

Laclair was later arrested and charged with a felony count of manufacture of methamphetamine and misdemeanor counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and possession of a hypodermic instrument.

He was being held in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.

Back at Curtis Apartments, most tenants didn't even know there was a fire in their building until much later.

Michael Riley, who lives in the complex said he was "extremely shocked. This is a very nice building. People are all very good. It's just like one big family."
 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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