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Police say meth lab started fire in Galesburg home

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Michelle Esp and Richard Garza Jr photos from Galesburg Police

Police were searching for a man who may have been burned when a methamphetamine lab started fire in a home in Galesburg, Illinois.

Police said 46-year-old Michelle Esp told them she had just arrived home to see smoke coming from inside her house in the 800 block of South Kellogg on Thursday, July 10, 2014.

“Esp said she entered the home and awakened the two occupants alerting them to the danger and all evacuated the residence,” according to a statement from Galesburg Police.

After the fire was put out, police said they found evidence of a meth lab on the second floor of the house.  Investigators determined Esp and Richard Garza were mixing ingredients to make meth when the fire started.

Esp was arrested and charged with aggravated meth production and possession of meth manufacturing materials.  She was held in the Knox County Jail, awaiting a bond hearing set for Friday, July 11.

Police said Garza, who may have suffered burns to his arms, was still at large.  Anyone with information about him was asked to call Galesburg Police, or contact Knox County Crime Stoppers at (309) 344-0044 or text the word GALESBURG with your tip to 274637.