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What was that: mysterious fire at former meth lab

Post by News Tribune Staff on June 19, 2008 at 7:02 pm with No Comments »
June 19, 2008 7:02 pm

Tacoma firefighters are in the 400 block of S. 72nd fighting a fire in an abandoned garage believed to be a possible meth lab that exploded, according to the scanner.

I’ll update this post when I’m able to get more information.

Update 1: Four people were seen running from the scene, according to radio traffic.

Update 2: I still haven’t been able to talk to a fire department spokesman, but they’re calling for fans on the radio, which usually means they’ve got things under control and are just trying to clear out the smoke.

Update 3: Fire spokeswoman Jolene Davis said the call came in as a garage fire at 6:54 p.m.

Firefighters were on scene within four minutes and had the fire out by about 7:30 p.m.

Davis was not able to confirm the fire was related to a meth lab, but said there had been police activity at the house earlier in the day. (I’m checking with police about that.)

She was also not able to confirm radio traffic about at least one patient that was being decontaminated, but said she’d call me back if she learned anyone was being taken to a hospital for treatment.

No other structures were damaged, she said, but several nearby vehicles may have been scorched.

Update 4: I just got off the phone with police spokesman Mark Fulghum and the plot thickens — the garage *used* to house a meth lab, but it hasn’t been active for some time. The place was actually boarded up and in the process of being decontaminated. A health inspector was out looking at the site at 4 p.m. today. There was no meth lab there at that time.

Fulghum wasn’t sure about the earlier report of the people fleeing. He said police are talking to one man who used to live in the house there. It’s possible he’ll be cited for trespassing.

At this point, inspectors are working to determine what did spark the fire and whether it was intentional.

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