Local news

911 call prompts discovery of apparent drug lab

Spokane firefighters responding to a report of several unconscious people in a South Hill home instead found evidence of an illicit drug processing operation Monday afternoon.

The homeowner called 911 reporting a half dozen people unresponsive at an address in the 2600 block of East 38th Avenue before 3 p.m. Monday. When firefighters arrived, they found the man in the front yard, but no one inside, said Spokane Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer. The man showed symptoms of dementia, he said.

Firefighters entered the structure in hazmat suits as a precaution and discovered what appeared to be marijuana and several other items, including butane, used to process the plant into a more potent form. The process has caused several recent fires in Washington and elsewhere because of the explosiveness of the butane.

“We had a very good ending today,” Schaeffer said. “Nobody’s hurt.”

The call sent several engines and ambulances to the address, which is near several schools. Neighbors said they saw the homeowner frequently out on walks with assistance, but he was unaccompanied Monday afternoon. One woman said there was frequently loud music coming from the address and a lot of foot traffic.

Firefighters cleared the scene safely and police were working to obtain a search warrant for the home. The homeowner was treated at the scene and taken by ambulance to an area hospital.

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