Couple arrested, kids taken after fire leads to suspected meth lab in Clermont

4 children taken from home

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CLERMONT, Fla. - Clermont police said they were called to a home at 1047 West Desoto Street around 1:15 a.m. Saturday after a report of a house fire.

Police said they saw thick, black smoke coming from the home and were able to find the residents standing outside of the home. 

Police said they saw 32-year-old Allen Arnold and 28-year-old Summer Richardson outside and Arnold was covered in blood.

Police said Arnold had cuts to his arms, face and head and Richardson was acting nervous, but did not have any injuries.

Arnold said he was injured after smashing a bedroom window attempting to extinguish the fire with an exterior garden hose, police said.

Arnold said that he did not know how the fire started but thought it may have started with the air conditioning unit.

Both Arnold and Richardson were taken to the hospital and the children were given to their grandmother, police said.

Police said they became suspicious when firefighters found a blood trail that led from the point of the fire to an attached storage shed, where firefighters believed they found meth making materials.

Police said they obtained a search warrant and collected enough evidence to charge Richardson and Arnold.  Both were taken to the Lake County Jail and booked.

Police said the children were taken from their custody and that Arnold admitted he had been trying to  "cook" methamphetamine recently and during his attempt earlier this morning a glass "head jar" exploded in their bedroom resulting in the fire that originally brought Clermont police officers to the scene.

Police said the children were inside the home at the time of the fire.

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