The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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December 24, 2012

In Brief | Police find ‘mobile meth lab’ in Wal-Mart lot

POTTSVILLE — Shoppers doing some last-minute Christmas shopping at a Wal-Mart in eastern Pennsylvania came across an unusual scene.

Members of a state police emergency team said a van was stocked like a mobile methamphetamine lab.

St. Clair police discovered the Ford Windstar about 5 a.m. Sunday while investigating a hit-and-run crash in the parking lot.

They say 39-year-old Felix Ferrer Jr., of Reading, was found sleeping inside the van that was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Police arrested him and the drug team removed the hazardous meth-making materials.

Ferrer is facing felony drug charges from his arrest in Schuylkill County. Police said he also has bench warrants from drug charges in Berks County.

Faulty flue on wood burner sparks blaze

CENTRAL CITY – A home along Bunker Hill Road was heavily damaged Sunday morning when the flue on a wood burner failed.

Vincent Bires of North Braddock was at the home he recently purchased in the 600 block of Bunker Hill Road in Shade Township when the fire started just after 8 a.m. Sunday, said Todd Shaffer, Richland Township Fire Department chief.

Richland was joined by crews from Central City, Windber, Stoystown and Hooversville fire companies, along with Stoystown EMS.

The fire broke through into the attic, causing heavy damage.

“It spread pretty quickly,” Shaffer said. “It was an older home.”

Bires was able to escape and no firefighters were injured, Shaffer said.

Wrong-way accident closes I-376 for an hour

PITTSBURGH – Police said a wrong-way driver collided with another car early Monday morning near Pittsburgh, closing westbound Interstate 376 for over an hour.

Authorities said 26-year-old Carrie Marie Mammay was driving east in the westbound lanes of the parkway in a 1990 Chevrolet Metro at about 4:30 a.m. when her car crashed into a 2009 Jeep Cherokee.

Police say the Cherokee’s driver, 47-year-old Paul Tavella of Greensburg, suffered minor injuries, as did his wife, Jeanne. Both were taken to UPMC Presbyterian.

Mammay was taken to UPMC Mercy with head injuries.

State police say charges are pending blood test results.

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