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Authorities: Suspect charged with setting up meth lab in Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino hotel room

February 17, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Authorities: Suspect charged with setting up meth lab in Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino hotel room

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Authorities in Atlantic City, New Jersey, charged a man with establishing a meth lab in a casino hotel room that got caught fire, prompting four floors to be evacuated.

The fire occurred on Wednesday at Tropicana casino. The incident resulted in the injuries of two people — the man who rented the room and a hotel employee who went into the room after the fire was detected.

Law enforcement officials charged Michael Pillar with maintaining a drug production facility, possession of meth, along with criminal mischief. It’s not clear if Pillar, who was arrested and booked into the Atlantic County Jail after his release from the hospital, is being represented by an attorney.

Damage from the fire was restricted to the room on the 44th floor of the casino’s west tower where the fire erupted. A State Police hazardous-materials team destroyed the meth lab, Fox News reported.

Steve Callendar, the general manager of the hotel and casino, indicated that the area is safe, and the affected rooms will be ready to book on Friday.

“The safety of guests and employees is our number one priority at Tropicana Atlantic City,” he stated. “A few rooms were affected by the fire. Hotel rooms have been inspected, and cleared to go back online tomorrow.”

The fire was reported just before 10 a.m. when a bed and the room’s bathroom caught on fire. Fire Chief Scott Evans said a hotel staff member used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire, noting that the building’s sprinkler system helped to stop the fire from spreading.

However, smoke from the incident led to the temporary evacuation of guests on four floors and had to be vented from the building by fans.

Casino officers discovered video of two men and one woman who left the room before firefighters and other emergency personnel arrived.

Roughly 12 hours after the blaze, all three were spotted nearby were arrested. Two of them were released with no charges.

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