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Georgia meth lab fire kills three children

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Three children were killed in a suburban Atlanta house fire caused by a lab used to process methamphetamine, authorities said on Friday.

Police are searching for a suspect, Ivan Gonzalez, who will likely be charged with three counts of murder for the deaths of the children, said Jake Smith, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

"It's very likely that he (Gonzalez) is here illegally and participating in the drug trade," Smith told Reuters.

Neibi Brito, the mother of the children -- who were aged 1, 3 and 4 -- has been charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, he added.

The fire started around 4 p.m. Thursday, said Smith. Gonzalez was in the yard trying to extinguish the fire with a garden hose and may have suffered burns himself. He told police he would follow the ambulance to the hospital but never arrived there and remains at large, said the police spokesman.

Inside the house, investigators found a lab used to process methamphetamine, a pound of finished methamphetamine and $192,000 in cash, said Smith.

(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Jerry Norton)