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Suspicious fire destroys Martinez home

Posted: August 14, 2013 - 3:34pm  |  Updated: August 14, 2013 - 4:35pm
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Michael Russell (right) and Kathleen Stanford (left) were arrested Wednesday for the manufacture of methamphetamine after their residence at 3510 Rainbow Street in Martinez was destroyed by fire.  Photo by Scott Rouch
Photo by Scott Rouch
Michael Russell (right) and Kathleen Stanford (left) were arrested Wednesday for the manufacture of methamphetamine after their residence at 3510 Rainbow Street in Martinez was destroyed by fire.

Twitter @ScottRouch

Columbia County authorities arrested three people today in connection with a suspected drug lab fire that gutted a house in Martinez.

Columbia County firefighters who were called to 3510 Rainbow Street at about 10:30 a.m., found the one-story brick home engulfed in flames. Residents Michael Russell, 52, and Kathleen Stanford, 40, were taken into custody, along with 24-year-old Blake Barfield of Clearwater, S.C.

“Russell was transported to the hospital where he is being treated for minor burns he received when the Meth lab exploded,” Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said in an e-mail.

All three will be charged with the manufacture of methamphetamine, Morris said.

Russell was in the house and was pushed out a side window by Stanford who was also in the house at the time.

“He was caught in the corner over there and I was right over there at the door, texting on the phone,” said Stanford, who said that Russell came tumbling out on his head.

Miguel Garcia, Sr. who lives across the street saw the flames and called 911.

“I came outside and I could see the flames billowing out of the picture window, out of the side of the house, 10 or 15 foot above the roofline,” said Garcia. “Mike (Russell) was hollering call 9-1-1. I could feel the heat in the middle of my yard.”

Columbia County Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Jim Champion said firefighters put out the fire in two to three minutes.

County fire officials are still investigating to determine the exact cause of the blaze.

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Comments (5)

NickGardner

It must have been a horrible

It must have been a horrible experience for everyone, but at least no other building caught fire. Large fires spread quite easily, and even though there are times when the building is saved people will need a residential roofing contractor to repair their homes.

annie27

Is the home completely

Is the home completely destroyed? Fires can be very damaging but there are times when the building can be saved. Asking for the home inspection in Prescott Valley opinion is the surest way to learn if you could renovate after such an event.

TimBurton

This is a good reason why

This is a good reason why people should never handle unstable substances, let alone in their own homes. To avoid fires, many people use the services on http://actionairplumbing.com/gas-leak-detection/, to make sure that there's no gas leak and that all their systems are working properly. A small malfunction can lead to a tragic situation.

benjohnson

It is very sad that

It is very sad that Martinez’s home was destroyed by a suspicious fire. Are there anymore updates on the cause of the fire? Is the police investigating on the cause of fire? I would like to know on the latest updates.
cheese online

rachelsM

A new home can always be

A new home can always be built again, the entire incident could have ended much worse. The owners should take advantage of the event and build the home they've always wanted instead. They could take a look on (877) EDS-4-DECKS, they might find some very interesting additions to the building.

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