1. #21
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 1999


    Drewbo, I am by no means an expert, but this is what I have been able to pick up along the way.

    One concern is booby traps, etc meant to keep those who don't belong away.

    The 2nd concern is the actually chemicals used in the meth process. Combine these chemicals and a fire condition and things will get bad.

    My understanding is that most of the chemiclas used are ordinary stuff that you could by in most stores, so the danger becomes apparent when they are all in the same place at the same time.

    Hopefully someone will be able to add to this info.


  2. #22
    Forum Member
    1835Wayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Door Village, IN

    Unhappy meth labs

    I also know from expierience to look out for things that are out of place. For example, there was a case where a anyhydrous ammonia tank for farm use (IE: a wagon) had been stolen from the Co-Op and been re- placarded as PROPANE. It was then placed in a garage for use by a lab. It was discovered when a neighbor reported a strong smell in the area. The crooks had utilized makeshift fittings and hose to remove the product from the wagon and it was leaking. After the haz-mat team determined the location of the tank and its erronious markings the police made a raid on the residence and discovered the lab.
    I.A.C.O.J. Charter Member
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  3. #23
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Holbrook FD


    How's this for scary? Bow string truss construction in an old converted retail store. Now occupied as a flea market. Many open booths selling anything under the sun. the last time the owners patched the roof they used seaweed and tar!

  4. #24
    Temporarily/No Longer Active

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    1,000 miles from Private Pile

    Lightbulb HFD12316

    I think I've heard of that "type" of construction! Isn't that MacGyver construction with a 5 min rating?

  5. #25
    Disillusioned Subscriber
    Steamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999

    Default Drug labs

    There are essentially 2 different methods to making meth used in the US. Both utilize extracted ephedrine from over the counter cold medicines. Some of the other chemicals utilized, depending upon the "recipe" used include lithium, sodium, propane, anhydrous ammonia, red phosphorous, coleman lantern fuel (white gas), hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, paint thinner, benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethane, and toluene.

    hfd66truck hit on something that should also be a grave concern to any emergency responder, and that is booby traps. These people are often paranoid as a result of the chemicals. Many of these booby traps are amateurish in construction, but very effective nonetheless. They utilize everything from black powder and smokeless powder to poisonous snakes and everything in between. Also remember that if you seize the property, you may be responsible for the clean-up costs. It's a real gray area, and that's why the clean-up and crime scene processing is often left to the DEA because of their deep pockets.

    With the number of known and unknown chemicals involved in one of these buildings, you may be better off allowing the property to burn should a fire progress beyond the incipient stage. All of the runoff of suppression water should be contained for possible disposal at an approved chemical site. Many, if not most of the chemnicals will be destroyed in the high temperatures achieved in a free burn condition. Clean-up of this type of incident could climb to $100,000 to $150,000. Talk with your local officials and preplan your operations at one of these incidents before you end up with a huge amount of clean-up fees, or even worse lose somebody to either a booby trap or to chemical toxicity.

    These things are potentially very, very nasty, and are becoming more and more prevalent in the rural areas.
    Steve Gallagher
    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

  6. #26
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2001


    Got a true story for you. I was told this when I went through EMT class by one of the speakers we had. He is a career guy in a neighboring city. He told me they were called to a house fire, and after extinguishment they were doing salvage and overhaul, and at every door was a steel cable, and on each end was a hand grenade. There were also holes cut in the floor. Amazingly enough no one hit the wires or fell in the holes. The holes they noticed while fighting the fire the wires they did not notice until salvage. Kind of makes you wonder what might be waiting for you on the other side of the door.

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