The Red Boiling Springs Fire Department responded to a suspicious structure fire at 322 Heady Ridge Road on Thursday night, January 6th, which damaged the one story brick home owned by Catherine Hix, of Red Boiling Springs.

According to Chief Danny Knight, upon arriving around 10 p.m., smoke was coming from the rear of the home, but the blaze hadn’t broken through. “We contained the fire to the back room,” said Knight, “but the home also sustained substantial smoke and water damage.”

“We had six firefighters at the scene, along with one engine,” the chief continued, “and we used 1,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire and no reported injuries. We remained on the scene for over two hours and the fire is under investigation.”

While inside the home, Red Boiling Springs firefighters discovered a backpack containing ingredients commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine and contacted the Macon County Sheriffs Department for assistance.

According to MCSD Detective Taylor, the home contained several ingredients associated with meth manufacture including; liquid fire, buratic acid, pneumonia nitrate, lithium batteries, Coleman fuel, plastic tubing, sea salt and lye. Also discovered, was approximately one gram of finished methamphetamine product.

Taylor confirmed that is highly likely that the fire was caused by a meth lab explosion.

No one was at home during the time of the fire, but Taylor was able to locate and arrest the resident, 19-year-old Catherine Sheri Hix, on Friday, January 7th.

Hix was charged with promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, manufacture of narcotics and possession of a Schedule III drug. Bond has been set at $50,000 and a General Sessions Court date has been scheduled for January 26, 2011.

Those responding to the initial fire were the Red Boiling Springs Fire Department, Red Boiling Springs Police Department, Macon County Sheriffs Department and the Macon County Chronicle.