Police Find Meth Lab in Jackson Garage

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Gerardo Ortiz had just returned to his Jackson home on the 100 block of South Forbes Street, Sunday night, when he saw a man run out of his neighbor's garage covered in flames.

"I saw the guy get out of the garage on fire," said Ortiz. "I tried to help him. I took off my jacket and dropped to him."

After helping extinguish the flames, Ortiz says he called 911, but the badly burned man fled before any police or fire crews could get there.

When they did arrive, Jackson Police checked the garage and were surprised by what they found inside.

"Gas generators, tore open lithium batteries, acids, cold packs," said Lt. David Cook of the Jackson Narcotics Enforcement Team. "Pretty much everything you need to make meth."

Cook says those ingredients could have easily cause the explosion that started the fire.

"The reaction vessels that they are using to cook the meth are plastic and when those things go under pressure, they are going to expand and blow up," said Cook.

According to Cook, police find meth labs in Jackson about once a week. He also says they can be created anywhere and are often found by chance.

Still, neighbors say they did not expect to see something like this happen on their street.

"It's a bad drug and when people do it, it is crazy," said Angela Canfield who lives on Forbes "It is kind of scary when it's in your neighborhood and you have children."

As for the suspect, police say he is still in the hospital in serious, but stable, condition.

When he gets out, the Jackson County Prosecuting Office says people convicted of using meth usually face up to 20 years in prison.

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