Macon County Chronicle

House Fire Leads to Drug Investigation

What started as a residential fire at 803 Due West Circle in the wee hours of Sunday morning, November 13th, quickly escalated into a crime scene, when precursors and methamphetamine were discovered inside the burning home of Ruby Hewitt.

The Lafayette Fire Department was dispatched to a 1600 square foot one story brick home around 1:30 a.m., where a chair was reportedly on fire. But within a matter of minutes it turned into a working structure fire, according to Chief Keith Scruggs, which led him to believe there could be other circumstances involved.

“The fire evolved a little quicker than usual inside the city limits,” Chief Scruggs explained, “and it only took my experienced team four minutes to arrive at the home, where three people resided. After my men made the discovery, they quickly called the Lafayette Police Department to investigate the situation.”

Stated Chief Amalfitano, of the Lafayette Police Department, “after arriving at the scene and checking out the situation for ourselves, we immediately contacted the 15th Judicial Drug Task Force and asked them to come to 803 Due West Circle, at which point and time they took over the investigation.”

Added Chief Scruggs, “I will be working with the Drug Task Force investigators to determine the exact cause of the suspicious fire. Situations like this present a danger to our fire department and I always worry about the safety of my men. Of course we always take precautions and use the best equipment available at any fire scene, but I still worry when we don’t know what’s inside a burning structure.”

“This is an on going investigation,” said Amalfitano, “and there will likely be some arrests made shortly.”

Don Stevens, of the Lafayette Fire Department, was in charge of the scene and the estimated loss was $50,000.

Those responding to the 10/72 included the Lafayette Police Department, Lafayette Fire Department, Macon County Emergency Medical Services, Macon County Sheriffs Department, and the Macon County Chronicle.