Thursday, July 1, 2010
Authorities say that a fire at a Hollywood apartment Wednesday was at the site of a drug lab.
"The firefighters had no idea what they were dealing with until the fire was out," said Hollywood Fire Rescue Department Division Chief Mark Steele.
A man was burned on his hands, face and neck when the fire broke out. Firefighters had been heading to a call at about 6:45 a.m. when they noticed smoke coming from Lakewood Apartments at 3630 N. 56th Ave., Steele said.
Firefighters, who quickly extinguished the blaze, became suspicious when they noticed the intensity of the heat and after witnesses told them the burn victim had thrown items in the complex's trash bin after the fire, Steele said. Firefighters contacted the Police Department, which also contacted the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. "We definitely believe it was a lab, but we aren't sure what kind of drugs they were producing," said Manny Marino of the Hollywood Police Department. The DEA took samples and other evidence from the scene. The victim is recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital and is in stable condition.