Suspected Drug Lab Prompts Hazmat Response to Compton House Fire

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A hazmat team response on June 17, 2014 was prompted by a suspected drug lab, authorities say

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A hazardous materials team responded to a house fire in Compton on Tuesday morning following the discovery of a suspected drug lab, authorities said.

The blaze broke out in a home located in the 1100 block of West 137th Street (map) at about 3:30 a.m., according to Sgt. Ebbinga with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

An officer was responding to another call in the area when he noticed the fire. As the officer headed to the home, he saw a van leaving the scene, Sgt. Ulysses Cruz with the Sheriff’s Department’s Compton Station said.

A short pursuit ensued, during which time a passenger jumped out of the van, according to Cruz.

The passenger, whose identity has not been released, was arrested, Cruz said.

The passenger was treated for severe burns and transported to a local hospital for treatment. His condition was not immediately known.

The driver of the van got away, Cruz added.

Multiple agencies, including the Sheriff’s Department, the Compton Fire Department and a Los Angeles County Fire Department hazmat crew responded to the scene, Ebbinga and a supervisor from the Fire Department said.

It was not clear at first why the hazmat team responded, but Cruz later said it was prompted by a “suspected PCP lab.”

No evacuations have been ordered, and there were no reports of injuries.

A KTLA photographer at the scene said there was a “strong” and “unpleasant” odor in the area.

KTLA’s Geoff Peters and Alberto Mendez contributed to this report.

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