South Surrey residents and farm workers were evacuated Monday morning after a suspected drug lab just north of Morgan Creek residential area went up in flames.
Surrey RCMP’s Drug Section Unit, Surrey Fire Services and the ‘E’ Division Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team were on the scene in the 15700-block of 40 Avenue for more than 24 hours, after a blaze was reported shortly after 9 a.m. Monday.
Acting RCMP Insp. Keith Bramhill told Peace Arch News a shed on the rural property was fully engulfed in flames when RCMP arrived.
When the fire was contained, Bramhill said, chemicals consistent with a drug lab were found on the property, and the area was cordoned off.
No injuries were reported as a result of the blaze and no one was found in any of the buildings on the property, Bramhill said.
“There is evidence from the Surrey Fire Department that there are clandestine materials and cooking materials on the premises that are extremely hazardous,” Bramhill said, noting adjacent residents and farm workers had been evacuated as a safety precaution.
By mid-afternoon Monday, firefighters were still working to fully extinguish the flame, which Bramhill said had “reignited itself” at least two times.
According to Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann, firefighters were called back to the scene Tuesday morning, when the fire “spontaneously ignited” yet again. That blaze has now been extinguished.
Early Tuesday afternoon, investigators were awaiting approval of a warrant before searching the shed; the RCMP’s portable ‘clandestine lab’ was still on site, as were several other police vehicles.
Traffic along 40 Avenue was blocked for several hours Monday between 156 and 160 streets.