London police officers and firefighters in hazardous-material suits were hosed down with decontamination spray Wednesday after leaving an east-end townhouse where investigators are probing a suspected drug lab.

Health Canada chemists were called to the scene of a suspected drug lab discovered inside an east London townhouse, where police officers and firefighters in hazardous-material suits were hosed down with decontamination spray Wednesday after leaving the home.

Paramedics, police and firefighters responded to the Oaklands Housing Co-op at 1199 Hamilton Rd., east of Gore Road, where a dormant drug lab was found inside a unit on Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Emergency crews remained on the scene Wednesday, establishing a decontamination zone around the two-storey home, laying a large green tarp and a sign that read “hot zone” in a parking lot adjacent to the property’s front door.

The operation attracted a steady stream of onlookers, who gathered outside the blocked-off area.

Neighbours said a woman, whose adult son frequently visits her, lives at the home at the centre of the probe.

“Officers attended the residence . . . and quickly determined there was no risk to public safety,” Const. Sandasha Bough said.

Police haven’t laid any charges, Bough said, adding the investigation is active.

Fire officials referred all questions to the police, citing the criminal probe.

Mike Whittington, 41, was walking his dogs Tuesday afternoon when he saw emergency crews setting up a decontamination zone around the home.

“There’s normally just kids running around; that’s all you hear,” Whittington, who lives just down the road, said of the “quiet” neighbourhood.

“Good family neighbours, lots of kids playing around after school. Definitely unexpected.”

Kurt Freeman, 69, said he’s known the woman who lives at the home for more than a decade.

She has mobility issues and has been hospitalized recently, he said.

“She would go in and out of the hospital for dialysis,” he said.

Calls to the Oaklands Housing Co-op, the owner of the rent-geared-to-income complex, weren’t returned Wednesday.
Source: Police, firefighters face decontamination amid suspected drug-lab probe | London Free Press