JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Units at a Mandarin apartment complex were evacuated early Friday morning while Jacksonville police and firefighters shut down a small meth lab.
About 2 a.m. the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the Waterford at Mandarin apartment complex on 11247 San Jose Boulevard in reference to a disturbance.
Police said people were reportedly yelling and screaming in an apartment inside building 21.
"Officers started talking to the individuals inside of the apartment. At that time a couple of the officers that were there noticed an odor, they noticed some signs of what they believe to be a meth lab. There were certain particles inside, items that through their training that received that they believe could be associated with a meth lab," said Sgt. Paul Restivo.
Restivo said one of the items that was noticed in the apartment was cooker, commonly used to make meth.
"It didn't belong in the apartment, it was kind of out of place, just from what they've seen," said Restivo. "All of it together kind of made it seem like it could be associated with a meth lab."
At that point, police evacuated the apartment and surrounding apartments and called the JSO Narcotics Unit, the bomb squad and fire department's hazardous materials team.
"Hopefully it should only take two or three hours to secure the scene, make sure everything is safe. At this time, I don't know how volatile it was but I think we're just going on the side of, you know making sure that everything is safe," said Restivo. "Anytime your dealing with chemicals that are volatile, you have the chance of them exploding. We have had them in the past explode, not here so much but other places, you know it can happen. So, we take the precaution to make sure that that doesn't happen. And that's why we're better safe than sorry by coming out and taking care of it now."
Narcotics officers did confirm that there was an active meth lab inside the apartment.
Residents of four surrounding units evacuated were able to return to their homes around 8 a.m. after crews quickly removed the meth lab and it's components from the area.
No arrests have been made at this time. Investigators are interviewing the people involved and gathering more information to decide what the apartment tenants will be charged with.
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