Police and firefighters spent much of Monday cleaning up a clandestine drug lab that was discovered after an explosion at an apartment building Sunday afternoon.
Firefighters were called to the scene following reports of an explosion at an apartment building at Carnarvon and Elliot streets around 1 p.m. on Nov. 4.
New Westminster Fire Chief Tim Armstrong wouldn’t comment on what firefighters encountered when they arrived at the scene, but he confirmed there was no fire. Residents were lucky there were no injuries and damage was contained to the one apartment unit, he added.
“Anytime you have flammable liquids, accelerants inside a confined area, there’s a substantial risk of explosion, and I’ve seen many cases where it’s actually destroyed a building with a large enough explosion,” he told media Monday morning.
The fire department’s hazardous materials team and the federal clandestine drug lab team were brought in to dismantle the lab and remove anything that could pose a threat to investigators.
“From a police perspective, it’s going to be slow and methodical. We want to make sure that we’re preserving any evidence. We also want to be making sure the safety of officers and first responders is upheld throughout the whole process of dismantling it,” he said.
One person was arrested at the scene and taken into custody. No charges have been laid yet. Officers with the police department’s street crime unit executed a search warrant after the lab was dismantled.
“Part of the investigation will be to determine who are the residents? Who lives in the suite? Who’s associated with the suite? And so, as you can imagine, something like this, from a policing side of the investigation can start to grow as we determine what evidence there is for the different offences that may be being committed inside the apartment,” he added.
Both Scott and Armstrong said it was too early to say what types of drugs were being made inside the apartment. More information is expected as the investigation continues.
Residents in the other units in the building were evacuated. They were let back into the building Tuesday morning.