Police Say Meth Lab Caused Florida House Fire

Firefighters rescued four dogs and two cats from the home.


Officials said chemicals from a meth lab in a South Daytona man's bedroom started a fire on Bryan Avenue Friday morning.

Four dogs and two cats were rescued from Peter Stanley's home in South Daytona, WESH 2 News reported.

Stanley (pictured, right) was last seen riding away on a bicycle.

The man lived at the home with his mother, Marilee Dodimead. Firefighters rescued her animals as flames ripped through Dodimead's home.

"For the animals, it was worse than for me. I knew enough to get out," Dodimead said after the fire.

Investigators said they found chemicals and paraphernalia used to produce meth in Stanley's bedroom.

Dodimead said her insurance will probably not pay for the damage. She told police she didn't know her son was cooking meth.

Lt. Ronald Wright, of the South Daytona Police Department, said it's getting more difficult to tell if there is a meth lab next door. He said it's not out of the question for a person living inside to be unaware of what's going on.

"I think anywhere it's possible that there's a meth lab, and I think anybody would find it surprising that there's a meth lab in their neighborhood," he said.

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, methamphetamine is the primary drug in Central Florida and the number of labs is continuing to rise. Some meth labs are so small now that they can fit into a backpack.

Officials said there are some clues to look for to tell if there's a meth lab nearby. A strange odor may come from the house, the windows are usually blacked out, and a lot of traffic can be seen around the house at night.

Police are urging anyone with information about Stanley's whereabouts to call the South Daytona Police Department.

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