Suspected meth lab explodes; man being evicted suspected of setting fire
March 5, 2012 at 9:01 a.m.
Updated March 4, 2012 at 9:05 p.m.
When Victoria County Constable Richard Castillo tried to serve a routine eviction notice Monday morning, he didn’t expect his week to get off to such an explosive start.
“I was serving a writ of possession. We serve civil papers on a routine basis, but you never know what you’ll find,” Castillo said.
What Castillo found was a suspected methamphetamine lab at 1994 Boehm Road near Dacosta.
When the man being evicted refused to answer Castillo’s knocks at the door or calls, Victoria County Sheriff’s deputies arrived to provide assistance.
The man who was being evicted was hiding in an outbuilding and is thought to have set the suspected meth lab in the building on fire, causing an explosion at 8:15 a.m.
No one was injured, but black smoke billowed from the fire for about two hours.
About a half dozen residents downwind were either evacuated or asked to stay indoors until the smoke dissipated.
“When first responders arrived a storage shed and several other buildings were heavily involved in fire,” said Victoria Fire Department Battalion Chief Tracy Fox. “It was reported by law enforcement that there were chemicals in the building, unknown what type but a significant hazard. We decided to just let the buildings burn because nothing else was threatened at the time.”
Fox said that was standard procedure when unknown chemicals were burning.
About 10 a.m., firefighters entered the fire scene and suppressed any remaining hot spots.
The name of the man arrested and the charges against him have not been released.
See Tuesday’s Advocate for complete details. This story will be updated as information is made available.