Friday, May 24 2013 10:22 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:22:10 GMT
State Troopers will be eyeing the roadways for drivers who aren't wearing seatbelts and other violations this holiday weekend. More >>
State Troopers will be eyeing the roadways for drivers who aren't wearing seatbelts and other violations this holiday weekend.More >>
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -
Authorities remain on the scene of a Morgan County home where red phosphorus meth labs were found.
Officials arrested two people Thursday for allegedly making the meth labs where children were present.
HAZMAT and sheriff's deputies have been on the scene for more than 30 hours.
One HAZMAT agent was taken to the hospital. There was concern it may have been from the dangerous levels of chemicals crews are working to decontaminate, but officials said he was admitted for heat related issues.
Officials said the home on Redbud Lane was one of the most contaminated and garbage ridden homes they had ever seen.
The meth labs were discovered during a welfare check of Kelly and Heather Howard's three young children. The children are ages 4, 6, and 12. One is autistic and one has diabetes.
Investigators discovered a red phosphorus lab, an uncommon and extremely dangerous lab.
The children had to be de-contaminated of the dangerous chemical used to make this especially pure type of meth. Sheriff Ana Franklin said the Department of Human Resources is working to find them a safe place to live.
Investigators said more than half the times they conduct a meth bust, there are children in the home.
"The worst part of this job is having to deal with the family cost of that. And the children's health risk and concerns that we have, and all of the emotional problems that come along with having to be uprooted from their families," said Franklin.
The Howards were charged with manufacturing meth, possession of a controlled substance and chemical endangerment of a child.
Franklin said deputies found additional meth in the home, and further charges are pending.
The HAZMAT team might not finish decontaminating the home until Saturday.
The cost is going to be high: fire departments supplying oxygen and on standby, emergency personnel on scene to treat HAZMAT members dealing with heat-related health issues, DHR working to find a safe place for the three kids who live there.
All of that money comes out of the Morgan County Sheriff's Office's budget.
This entails a lot more than when authorities discover the more typical shake and bake one-pot meth labs.
"We've got the means to do small containers of hazardous materials. But to be able to do that amount of materials there is here, that means we're going to have to contract somebody to be able to do that - just like back in the day. The whole thing, it's a whole different book when you're dealing with red phosphorus," Franklin said.