BUTLER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Officials say two people who were cooking meth caused a house fire in Butler Township earlier this month.
The fire happened around 6 a.m. on Feb. 3 at a home in the 100 block of Germaine Road.
Five people were in the house at the time of the fire, including 38-year-old William Burke, of Cabot, Pa., and 34-year-old Brittney Rudolph, of Saxonburg, Pa.
Officials say Burke and Rudolph did not have permission to be in the house.
Investigators determined that the fire started in the center of the basement and spread upward. They found a spent one-pot methamphetamine vessel, an opened cold compress pack, lye and white fuel in an area of the basement that was not affected by the fire.
Police say there were fresh footprints in the snow, which led them to a discarded gas generator in a nearby wooded area.
Through their investigation, officials determined that Burke and Rudolph got what they needed to cook meth, then walked to the home on Germaine Road and went inside sometime after midnight on Feb. 3.
As they were cooking the meth, they spilled solvent onto an open flame, which caused the fire. Rudolph then left the house and disposed of the gas generator in the woods.
Burke suffered major burns and was transported to West Penn Hospital via medical helicopter. The other four individuals were sent to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries.
The home was destroyed in the fire.
Rudolph and Burke are facing multiple charges, including criminal trespass, operating a meth lab and recklessly endangering another person.