Arrest Made In Meth Lab Fire Near Rural Church

Five months after a methamphetamine lab sparked a fire inside a southern Johnston County home which was just yards away from a country church an arrest has been made in the case.

Last September 1st, the Strickland’s Crossroads Fire Department responded to a house fire at 5346 Meadowbrook Road outside of Benson.  A passing motorist had spotted smoke coming from the home and dialed 911.  Fire crews extinguished the blaze.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the NC SBI removed a meth lab from inside the home. Officials said the meth lab was the likely cause of the fire which was near the New Zealand Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church.

The occupant of the home, 44 year-old Chadwick Parsons Weeks, was no where to be found at the time of the fire. On Wednesday he was  charged with trafficking methamphetamines, manufacturing methamphetamines, and maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance.  He was also charged with possession of stolen property after a new boat taken from New Hanover County was found in his residence.

No injuries were reported in the September fire. Photos by John Payne