Crimetracker: Police discover meth lab after motel fire

By: Jennifer Stone Email
By: Jennifer Stone Email

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Blount County man is in custody following a fire in a room at the Princess Motel on U.S. Highway 411 South Tuesday morning.

Blount County Sheriff James Berrong says Roger Porter, 44, is being held on a $75,000 bond at the Blount County Detention Facility, pending a hearing in General Sessions Court on Wednesday, February 20. Porter is charged with initiating the process of the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Maryville Police and Fire Departments responded to the Princess Motel around 2:15 Tuesday morning after a fire alarm went off. When they got there, they found a fire in one of the rooms. Police made their way into the room, where they found what appeared to be a meth lab. Investigators called in the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force to interview Porter, and learned he'd been in the process of making meth when the lab caught on fire.

A man in a neighboring room was treated for smoke inhalation after he tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher before fire crews got on scene. Porter and a woman who was in the room with him were decontaminated. Police took the woman into custody as well, but released her with no charges.

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