Meth lab fire in Cedar Rapids leads to three arrests

Arson charges levied after blaze causes "extreme fire damage"

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Three people have been arrested after a fire that started while methamphetamine was being made in a Cedar Rapids house.

Brian Barnes, 23, Jessica Barnes, 25, and Philip Mengler, 25, all of Cedar Rapids, have each been charged with second-degree arson and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver or manufacture. Authorities said items used in manufacturing meth were found in the basement of the house, where the fire started.

Police and firefighters responded around 4 p.m. Sunday to a fire at 133 26th Ave. SW, where the three live together. Authorities said the fire caused "extreme fire damage." According to a criminal complaint, Brian Barnes, Jessica Barnes and Philip Mengler "were present when the fire started and were actively involved in obtaining the materials and artifacts used (in) the manufacturing process, which started the fire."

No one was injured in the fire. All three were transported to the Linn County Jail. 

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