Meth Fire Hurts Business in Bettendorf - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Meth Fire Hurts Business in Bettendorf


A meth fire that destroyed thousands of dollars in items and destroyed a business is still under investigation in Bettendorf on Wednesday. 

Police are saying that a shop owners son is among a group of arrested for being part of a "shake and bake" meth lab operation. 

Bettendorf Police say that the fire started at a storage facility - in a unit rented out by McArtor Construction.

They say the owners son - David McArtor gained access to the area and began making meth there. 

That's when the fire started. 

Eight people are facing meth related charges.

Several of the suspects are in custody and more are expected to turn themselves in during the coming days. 

But tonight police are saying the meth problem is growing in the QCA - and it's not going away anytime soon.

"Meth is on the rise, meth is everywhere," Says Captain Keith Kimball of the Bettendorf PD. "Because of the ease of it, it can happen everywhere. We are no more immune from it than any other city. It's happening everywhere. It's easy to buy the ingredients to it and pick up and go. It's very mobile. It's not very hard to do. There's probably a lot more going on in the Quad Cities than has been detected at this point."

But that fire is affecting more than just the owner of that one storage unit.

One business owner had his whole business within other units of that storage area.

And today - he is trying to clean up from the aftermath of a fire that wasn't his fault.

All while trying to save his business. 

Lenny Wilkinson opened Bettendorf Home Repair 14 years ago. 

It was a struggle - but he says it was worth it to build his business within the storage units on State Street. 

And today - much of his materials that were inside the units are destroyed.

"My whole business was up here. My storage, my office spaces, my equipment spaces, my shop, it's all ruined," says Wilkinson. "It's all been destroyed."

Wilkinson rents the front four units in a 8 unit facility.

Police say the fire caused from the meth cookers started in the last unit - but spread through the ceiling - destroying things in all the units.

"We have materials lined up for customers weeks in advance and before the job gets here, we have the materials ready to go and I can't sell fire damaged material to people," Wilkinson explains.

The owner tells us that he does have insurance on the business and materials.

But how much they will pay is still up in the air. 

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