Suspected meth lab explodes; man being evicted suspected of setting fire
March 5, 2012 at 4:01 p.m.
Updated March 5, 2012 at 9:06 p.m.
Of the 18 possible ingredients in a methamphetamine lab listed by the National Meth Center, seven are considered explosive. These include ammonia, benzene, ether, iodine, red phosphorous, toluene (found in paint thinner) and liquid lab waste. In addition to those seven, another two, acetone and methanol, are flammable.
When Victoria County Constable Richard Castillo tried to serve an 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.
After the resident refused to answer Castillo's knocks or verbal requests to open the door, Victoria County Sheriff's Office deputies arrived to provide assistance.
The suspect, Scott Allen Fisher, 49, was hiding in an outbuilding and is thought to have set the suspected meth lab in the building on fire, causing an explosion, said Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor.
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 put out any remaining hot spots.
Fisher was charged with manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance, arson, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia.