Sgt. Scott Bickford with the Chatsworth Police Department said as of Monday at about 10 p.m. officials were still searching for one man who left the Murray Lodge on Treadwell Road where the explosion occurred.
Officials said the 2-month-old was taken to a hospital for decontamination but was pronounced OK, and one man who was in the apartment during the explosion was taken to Augusta for burn treatment to his hands, arms and face after the lab exploded on him.
The baby’s mother, Sarah Fisson, 23, and grandmother, Brenda Harris, 50, both of 412 Treadwell Road, Apartment 111, have been arrested and charged with child endangerment and manufacturing meth. Bickford said charges are pending against the man who was burned, Robert Harris, 30, of the same residence.
Police Chief Terry Martin said officials treated the incident as a meth lab from the get-go after fire fighters who responded to the scene reported seeing some meth ingredients inside. Bickford said that after several hours of waiting for a search warrant, police were able to go inside and found evidence of a “shake-and-bake” lab in which the drug was made in plastic bottles.
Bickford said a neighbor called 911 about 3:30 p.m. to report the explosion, which blew out the door to the one-bedroom, first-floor apartment and shattered the window blinds, sending pieces flying into the parking lot. A neighboring apartment sustained some damage, and the person living there had to be relocated, Martin said.
A hazardous materials crew was beginning cleanup, and Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents were also on the scene. Bickford said police have received drug-related calls to the apartment complex before, and one time about 10 years ago a man there set his apartment on fire.
“It’s not bad,” Bickford said when asked about how often police respond to possible criminal activity at Murray Lodge, “but it’s not real good either.”
Neighbors sitting outside the complex were exchanging stories about their experience during the explosion. Some said they were asleep when it happened and couldn’t hear the noise from the opposite end of the building. Daniel Castro, who lives on the second floor on the opposite side of the building, said he didn’t know the people who lived where the explosion occurred, but he did hear the noise.
“I was laying in the bed, and I was just sound asleep, and next thing I heard was a big old ‘boom!’” he said.
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