Meth Lab Found In Tulsa Fire, Victim Identified

Friday, April 10th 2009, 10:01 am
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Fire Department investigators say they found shake and bake meth materials at the scene of a deadly fire Friday, but the meth lab may not have caused the fire.

Tulsa firefighters initially thought that the fire was caused by a meth lab, but now they say the materials associated with meth were not close to where the fire started. However, the materials fueled the flames.

"We were looking out the window and the glass just exploded out. Flames flying. The ONG truck caught on fire and we called 911," neighbor India Brooker said.

Booker dropped her kids off at school and returned home to see a store in the strip mall across the street burst into flames about 9 a.m.

"Just boom. I mean, the glass exploded, and that was it," she said.

Tim Smallwood with the Tulsa Fire Department says 49-year-old Laurie Ann Gordon was pulled out of the burning building but died at the scene. Gordon rented one of the spaces in the building.

"It was supposedly going to be a resale shop, but it looks like it could have just been a cover front," Smallwood said.

Tulsa Police Officer Jason Willingham says TPD's Special Investigations Division responded to the scene and began their investigation. They say, at this time, police and fire officials don't believe the fire was a result of the meth lab; however, a meth lab was present in the building.

"They saw some items in the fire that didn't look like it should be there," Smallwood said.

Willingham says it is possible that the fumes from the lab added to the fires intensity. Although the materials for a meth lab were present, fire officials say the cause of the fire at this time is undetermined.

"Until the meth users themselves or the meth cookers themselves get the picture that this stuff can kill you, we might continue to have this problem," Smallwood said.

The other shops in this building include a donut shop and a lawnmower repair shop. Damage is estimated at $100,000 to $200,000.

Police say this will be the 70th meth lab in Tulsa in 2009.

Gordon had multiple Tulsa County convictions for drug possession, including meth, and spent several years in prison. For her most recent convictions, she was placed on probation until 2014 and given a suspended sentence.

In January, she was again charged with drug possession, but the case was still ongoing.