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SLCPD: Couple arrested for running drug lab, discovered in apartment fire investigation

Posted at 12:43 AM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 02:43:59-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A man and woman were arrested over the weekend after police say firefighters found a drug lab in their apartment that had caught fire.

On Saturday, the Salt Lake City Fire Department said its crews responded to a "suspicious" fire in an apartment at 360 S. 400 West. No further details were provided that day.

According to court documents later obtained by FOX 13, two people were arrested in connection with the fire: 21-year-old Brianna Westre and 25-year-old Ryan Joseph Cahouet.

The fire department was called to the apartment after a refrigerator exploded and caught fire. It was put out relatively quickly due to sprinklers in the building, and ultimately affected two units.

However, when firefighters arrived at the apartment to ensure the fire was out, they saw what appeared to be a "clandestine" (illegal and attempting to be kept secret) drug lab, court records state. The police were called in to investigate, and they allegedly found chemicals and other products commonly used to make illegal drugs. Police also reportedly found marijuana, MDMA and drug paraphernalia in the apartment.

The boyfriend-girlfriend pair of Westre and Cahouet were arrested on suspicion of the following charges: Operation of a clandestine laboratory (1st-degree felony); Controlled substance (2nd-degree felony); Possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia (both class-B misdemeanors).

The arresting officers added that Westre had outstanding felony drug distribution warrants out of Washington County.

They were both ordered by a judge to be held without bail.