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UPDATE: Hazardous crystal meth lab found next to Anderson elementary
An extensive system of circular ventilation pipes sticking out from the ceiling, numerous oil-drum sized blue plastic containers, and a long list of chemical precursors were found by Richmond RCMP's clandestine drug lab team at a house beside Henry Anderson Elementary School Wednesday afternoon.
The discovery came following a Tuesday night fire that had the neighbourhood buzzing and billowed thick smoke into the air shortly after 7 p.m. from the house's chimney, garage and a single open window looking out toward the school.
Richmond RCMP will likely remain at the scene of what they have now confirmed is a crystal methamphetamine lab at 9440 Alberta Rd., directly beside the front entrance to the school.
The two-storey single family house was hit by a fire on Tuesday night, which apparently led to Richmond Fire-Rescue stumbling on the drug lab.
Investigators had been staged Wednesday morning outside the house, awaiting a court-approved search-warrant before entering the home.
Richmond RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Stephanie Ashton said the fact the house was directly beside an elementary school was disturbing, posing a serious threat from both the perspective of an explosion, as well as the ventilation of toxic chemicals into the air.
Classes are out for summer at Anderson Elementary, which is separated from the house by a large hedge that's perhaps four-metres high and runs the entire eastern length of the north-facing house.
Neighbours meanwhile were in shock at learning about the lab.