Authorities Say a Meth Lab Caused Wednesday’s Fire at Tropicana
Crews responded to the casino's hotel high rise just before 10:00 Wednesday morning and firefighters were able to contain the blaze to just one room, however several floors were evacuated due to smoke.
A press release says that during the course of the fire department’s investigation, police detectives were requested after a meth lab was found in the hotel room. A State Police HazMat Unit also responded and dismantled the lab.
Tropicana surveillance officers were able to locate video footage of individuals that had fled the room before firefighters arrived. Detectives were able to quickly identify two males and one female.
Less than twelve hours later, officers located all three suspects in the 2400 block of Pacific Avenue. They were taken into custody without incident. One man, 49-year-old Michael Pillar of Whiting, was taken to ARMC-City for treatment of injuries sustained in the fire.
Pillar, who rented the room, was charged with maintain a controlled dangerous substance production facility, possession of CDS (methamphetamine), and criminal mischief; he was remanded to the Atlantic County Justice Facility. The other two suspects were released with no charges filed.