Home Fire Reveals $35,000 In Marijuana
INDIANAPOLIS -- A fire that damaged two homes on Indianapolis' south side led firefighters to a surprise drugs-and-weapons discovery Thursday morning.
Authorities said flames at one home in the 2800 block of Cahokia Court spread to another. While attending to the second home, firefighters found 35 bags of marijuana, the street value of which is estimated at $35,000, officials said.
"The Tupperware container that the marijuana was in had fallen out of a closet," said the Perry Township Fire Department's Bill Dashiell. "Of course, it opened up, and it was right there in plain view."
Police said they planned to arrest that home's resident, Kyle Chaplin, on drug charges. Chaplin wasn't home when firefighters arrived, but he was negotiating with authorities over his surrender Thursday afternoon through his father, police said.
Joyce Nichols, the owner of the home where the fire started, was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation. She is expected to be OK; no other injuries were reported.
At Chaplin's house, investigators also found at least 11 guns, a police scanner, handcuffs and two bulletproof vests, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Department.
Police said they didn't believe the guns were illegal, but they were checking serial numbers to see whether they had been stolen.
Nichols' daughter, Amy Wasson, said Nichols was burning incense at the time of the fire. The incense may have caused the flames, Wasson said.
"She forgot to blow it out all the way, or didn't get a chance to," Wasson said, relating what Nichols had told her. "(She) just ran to the bathroom and came back, and I guess some silk flowers were on fire.
"She tried to ... smother the fire, but it didn't work."
Damage estimates for the two homes weren't available.