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Fire in Tamaqua leads to Meth Investigation

TAMAQUA — A smoky fire that started inside an apartment in Schuylkill County led police to open an even bigger investigation.

Tamaqua Police are now looking for two people they suspect were making meth inside that apartment. Police said they found several household items that are often used for making meth inside an apartment in downtown Tamaqua.

Thomas Heiser and Kelsey Anderson are wanted by police in Tamaqua for the suspected crime. Officers said a fire at the couple’s apartment on West Broad Street turned up a suspected meth making operation.

According to a search warrant, a neighbor called police and said Heiser and Anderson were making drugs in the apartment and started a fire. The couple was not there when crews came to knock down flames, but neighbors said they could smell something strange.

“It smelled like plastic burning. That was even before all the sirens or fire trucks were even out there.” said Dorothy Forte from Tamaqua.

Crews doused a pile of clothes that caught fire in the bathroom, but when they took a look around, they found a plastic bottle filled with a white powder and several other signs that methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant, was being made.

Neighbors said they’re thinking about leaving the area now.

“It’s not safe for them, it’s really not,” said Forte.

Samuel Garcia lives down the hall with his family. He said he’s shocked and scared.

“It’s crazy. I have kids and all that. That could have blown up. The whole building could have gone up in flames,” said Samuel Garcia.

Council member Justin Startzel said recent methamphetamine training helped police with the investigation.

“It is very necessary that our police department, and not just in Tamaqua, they really do need to become educated with issues like this because it needs to be stopped.” said Startzel.

Families have been let back into the building since the fire, but Thomas Heiser and Kelsey Anderson are still missing.



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