MOUNT CARMEL — An explosion at a suspected meth lab in Mount Carmel not only put authorities on alert but it put a neighborhood in danger.
Investigators in Northumberland County looked over evidence that was taken from the scene after the blast and fire Sunday night.
Mount Carmel police showed a few of the tools used to make methamphetamine, a powerful illegal stimulant.
Police identified the suspected meth maker as John Carl of Mount Carmel. Carl is locked up.
Investigators say some neighbors got sick from the fumes. When police got to the scene, Carl reportedly ran, carrying a jug filled with meth ingredients. It exploded burning him.
One police realized they had a working meth lab on their hands, they wasted no time. They evacuated parts of the neighborhood.
Deb Tomedi, who lives outside of the evacuation zone, opened her home to neighbors.
“Of course the option is always there. Come in, get warm, let’s stick together,” she said.
Susan Renner and her children were forced out of their home.
“Now we’re going to have that label of there was a meth lab right here and that makes me sad because it’s a quiet, nice block.”
“The surprising thing is we have the president judge on the corner and our mayor a few houses away. These people have no respect for the law or authority,” said borough council member Joe Lapotsky.
Carl is charged with making meth and putting his neighbors in danger.
“The extra fire load with the oxygen cylinders and the propane and other flammable materials in the garage, we definitely diverted a very big disaster here,” said Mount Carmel Police Chief Todd Owens.
Authorities say meth is easily made. That’s why some people in Mount Carmel wonder if the latest bust will be the last.