ORANGE PARK, Fla. – A woman was arrested Monday morning during a meth lab bust that caused the evacuation of an extended stay hotel in Orange Park, the Clay County Sheriff's Office said. Deputies said they are looking for her husband.
Deputies said they got a tip about 6 a.m. Monday that there might be a meth lab in one of the rooms at the InTown Suites at 442 Blanding Blvd. Detectives said they smelled meth inside the third-floor room, and the narcotics team, fire department and hazmat crews were called because the chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamines are volatile and can explode.
Deputies evacuated nearby rooms for the safety of residents. Hotel guests were allowed to return several hours later.
Hazmat teams were at the hotel for hours decontaminating the room and testing items found inside.
According to deputies, several bottles with meth cooking inside were found, enough that if it had exploded it could have damaged the surrounding rooms.
"If one of these goes bad and explodes, you’re talking about, depending on the kind of meth lab it is, that at least the rooms maybe to the east and west and below (could be damaged)," Clay County Sheriff PIO Sgt. Keith Smith said.
News4Jax learned that Britney SIgmon, 30, was charged with conspiracy to produce methamphetamine and booked into the Clay County Jail.
Timothy Brewer, who has lived at the extended stay hotel for three weeks, said he was surprised a meth lab was found.
"Not good, really. I mean, I know we're going through an age and an era where everything is more open, and we're having access to that, but seeing this is not good," Brewer said. "I'll probably end up moving out."
Deputies said the number of meth labs in Clay County is down over previous years, but that doesn't diminish the danger when one is located.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-264-6512.