Meth Lab House Fire Scars E. Columbia

Local News

Sitting on his porch on a warm March afternoon, Tim Heneisen smiles and waves to people walking by.

A different face than the one he has staring at the charred remains of a house fire; a harsh reminder the block is a far cry from what it once was.

Found in the ruins of the house at 709 East Columbia St., just feet from Heneisen’s roots, was a meth lab.

Next door is a place he and his wife Patricia have called home for 25 years.

But their block has never looked like this, with scars up and down the street.

“I don’t know what you want to call them without being rude,” Patricia says of the revolving door of neighbors moving in and out of the rental property next door.

“Every kind of person that you would not want to be your neighbor was our neighbor.”

There is no indication from city officials how quickly the house will be demolished, but it won’t require any special clean-up. Just a bulldozer to tear it down.

Two men were arrested after the meth lab and materials used to cook meth were found.

Brian Hohenstreet, 48, and Randall Waller, 55, were charged with making meth causing an explosion.

Evansville Police Meth Suppression Unit says its finished investigating and now the property is turned back over the the owner.

The Evansville Building Commission says either the owner or the city will tear the house down.

Houses are packed in tight along E. Columbia, and neighbors are counting their lucky stars the damage wasn’t worse.

“If a meth lab blows up, the homes next to it could go up in flames too,” says Karen Koch, “It could kill somebody.”

While the days are numbered for the burned house, so too, are the days for the Heneisen’s.

Patricia says moving out is first on the to-do list.

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