meth lab in stillwaters

Members of the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force and firefighters clean the remains of a meth lab dumped in a dumpster following an explosion in a condo at StillWaters.

The gated StillWaters community was shook Sunday night with an explosion from a methamphetamine lab.

“It was a shake and bake lab,” Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force’s Fred White said. “It looks like it exploded in the bathroom. It was more of a pressure explosion. It caused the ceiling tiles to be pushed out of place and blew out the back sliding glass of the condo. It was a lot of pressure.”

Residents of Martin Villas evacuated and waited outside while law enforcement and firefighters made sure everything was safe including the area around the dumpster used by residents.

“It looks like they tried to dispose of some of the materials in and behind the dumpster,” White said. “Inside the dumpster was debris that splattered with chemicals in the explosion and behind was some meth oil.”

White could be seen collecting evidence from the dumpster Sunday. He said both acid and base chemicals were on site requiring proper disposal requiring help from the Stillwaters Volunteer Fire Department to wash the area down with fire hoses.

Sunday evening the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force was joined in the response by officers from the Dadeville and Jacksons Gap police departments, deputies from the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department, the StillWaters, Dadeville and Pace’s Point volunteer fire departments, Tallapoosa Emergency Medical Services and the Fifth Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office.

White said whoever was there Sunday evening during the explosion left before law enforcement arrived but said they do have an idea.

“I would expect someone to have chemical burns,” White said. “At this time it is still being investigated. We have not yet made an arrest but are close.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.