Home destroyed by fire

WILSON – Components used to make methamphetamine were removed from the scene of a house fire in Wilson this week, according to the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET), which cleaned up the suspected meth lab. No injuries were reported in the blaze.

Harris Township Fire Department and Hannahville Tribal Police were dispatched to a structure fire located on tribal land on Casino Lane on Monday, said a news release from UPSET Commander Det. Lt. Tim Sholander.

“Once on the scene, they noticed suspected meth components near the structure fire,” Sholander stated.

Tribal police contacted UPSET detectives to clean up four “one pot” plastic bottles and seven “HCL gas generators” which are used to make meth. The combination of these materials creates hazardous waste, said Sholander.

“UPSET detectives secured the hazardous waste and transported it to a container facility in Negaunee,” he said. UPSET is the only response team in the Upper Peninsula which can clean up such hazardous materials.

Harris Township Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the blaze at around 6 p.m. EST on Monday, said Fire Chief Jeff Yagodzinski this morning. No one was home at the time of the fire and no one was injured while putting out the blaze, he said.

The home suffered major damage and will likely be a total loss, added Yagodzinski. Gourley Township Volunteer Fire Department provided mutual aid at the scene and Rampart Emergency Medical Services were there on standby.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Yagodzinski said.

It is unknown if any arrests have been made in connection with the fire. Hannahville Tribal Police and UPSET could not be reached this morning by the Daily Press.

The public is encouraged to contact local police or UPSET at (906) 346-9289 with any information on illegal drug activity in the U.P., said Sholander, noting the agency is funded solely on grants, community donations, and forfeiture funds.