Meth Cooking Explosion Leaves Public Housing Tenants Worried - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Meth Cooking Explosion Leaves Public Housing Tenants Worried

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Continuing coverage on that meth lab explosion Monday afternoon in Albion.
It happened in a public housing complex that houses elderly people, and people with disabilities.
And it's left a lot of people wondering if it's safe for the residents to return to their apartments?

It's no secret, the chemicals used to make meth are very hazardous. Anhydrous ammonia, lithium, iodine, and more.
So it's understandable that Monday's meth making explosion has many of the residents very worried.

We heard a lot of concerns from residents of the Barnett building, a public housing complex in Albion.
After a Methamphetamine explosion in one of the apartments, many are concerned.
With those nasty chemicals in meth, and after a smokey flash fire in an apartment, just how safe is it for those residents?

Dennis Tobin, Director of Narcotics Investigations for the Attorney General's office says the specific apartment where the explosion happened has been contaminated.
And Tobin says any place, or room in a home where meth was being cooked, needs to be thoroughly cleaned, meaning carpets ripped up, furniture tossed, etc., "When you're cooking meth inside of a building, you're contaminating the wood, you're contaminating the floors, you're contaminating the curtains, you're contaminating the ceilings," said Tobin. " Everything in there where you're cooking we consider to be contaminated," Tobin added.

Tobin says in most situations, the contamination is confined to the area where the meth was being cooked, in this case, just the one apartment.
However, as Tobin explains, individuals can spread the contamination, "Once they go outside of that area, their clothing is going to be contaminated. Or if children are in that home, wherever you take those children to, they're going to be contaminated," Tobin explained. "So the contamination can leave the area where the cooking was taking place. And it would leave by being on the skin or on their clothing," Tobin added.

The Erie County Housing Authority owns the apartment building, they are responsible for cleaning up the apartment.
"In a dwelling that a meth lab is found, and we know there had been (meth) cooking in that dwelling, we're going to consider that dwelling contaminated," said Tobin. "Anytime a space has been contaminated it's going to have to be decontaminated and that's the responsibility of the building owner and the management of that building," Tobin added.

The Housing Authority did not return our phone calls seeking comment.
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