Nursing Home Closes After Deadly Meth Lab Blaze

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ASHTABULA, Ohio – A local nursing home has closed following a methamphetamine lab fire that killed a man and injured five others earlier this month, Fox 8 News reports.

Beatrice Knowlson owns the Park Haven Home on Park Avenue in Ashtabula. She confirmed the closure to Fox 8 News Saturday but had little else to say on the matter. “The State of Ohio forced my hand,” Knowlson said. She also noted that all of the facility’s residents had been moved to other nursing homes.

According to the Ashtabula Star Beacon, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services was in the process of revoking Park Haven’s license after the fire. The nursing home was given 30 days to request a hearing with the agency, before deciding to shut down.

Firefighters were called to Park Haven on the evening of March 4 for a fire on the second floor. They encountered a chaotic scene when they arrived, with staff members scrambling to get residents out of the building.

Shawn Warrens, 31, was killed in the fire. He was not a resident of the facility. Four other people — three residents and one non-resident — were injured.

Once the smoke cleared, and investigators started looking into what caused the fire, they were stunned by what they found.

“When we first started to get the indications, we all sort of looked at each other and went, ‘You know, are we seeing what we think we’re seeing?’ ” Ashtabula Fire Chief Ron Pristera told Fox 8 News after the fire.

The cause, according to fire officials, was a secret methamphetamine lab in one of the rooms.

The fire is still under investigation.

(Fox 8 News Reporter Kevin Freeman contributed to this report.)