Suspected drug lab cleanup triggers fire alert

Suspected drug lab cleanup triggers fire alert
Fire crews respond to Pennsylvania Avenue late Saturday afternoon. Photo/ Linda Hemmila

A chemical reaction during the cleanup of a suspected drug lab led to reports of a structure fire on Pennsylvania Avenue Saturday afternoon.

Neighbors were told to avoid the area and smoke from the fire in a Nixle alert from the city at 3:37 p.m. Residents within a six-block radius were asked to stay indoors and avoid smoke from the fire.

There wasn’t an actual fire; it was a miscommunication, according to Richmond Police Department Lieutenant Donald Patchin.

“There was a chemical reaction that occurred during a clean-up operation that they feared was going to cause a fire, but it did not. Fire personnel responded and deemed the situation safe,” Patchin said. "A search warrant was executed at the property by an outside agency earlier in the week."

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