Meth lab blamed for fire at Tropicana casino hotel
Crews responded to the casino's hotel high-rise just before 10 Wednesday morning. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to just one room, however several floors were evacuated because of smoke.
During the course of the fire department’s investigation, police detectives were called after a meth lab was found in the hotel room, officials said. A State Police HazMat Unit dismantled the lab.
Tropicana surveillance officers were able to locate video footage of individuals that had fled the room before firefighters arrived. Detectives were able to identify two males and a female.
Less than 12 hours later, officers located all three suspects in the 2400 block of Pacific Avenue. One man, 49-year-old Michael Pillar, of Whiting, was taken to ARMC-City for treatment of injuries sustained in the fire.
Pillar, who rented the room, was charged with maintaining a controlled dangerous substance production facility, possession of methamphetamine, and criminal mischief.
The other two suspects were released with no charges.