It wasn't fire that kept them from their bedtimes. After the intoxicating stench of acetone prevailed for four days, crews were called to the Summer Vale apartment complex on Pagewood to uncover an apparent synthetic drug lab, hidden in plain sight.
No one was home inside the apartment-turned-alleged drug mill. Instead, empty canisters of chemicals, little packets labeled "potpourri bubble gum" and breathing masks remained.
Most disturbing of the items left behind was a baby chair.
"They had a clandestine drug lab up there," Senior Capt. Dwayne Jernigan, of Houston Fire Department, said early Friday. "They were making Kush. [They] had all the equipment for it."
The Texas Department of Public Safety is taking the lead in the investigation of the lab.
Neighbors like Nikita Griffin was disturbed to think the whole operation was just a walk away.
"I live on this side!" she exclaimed describing the prevailing smell in her neighborhood. "That smell was very strong yesterday. Very strong."
Most people paid no attention to the stench, with some saying they thought maintenance was re-doing an apartment. When the smell didn't go away, a resident felt light-headed and queasy, prompting a call to 911.
Families in 12 units were ordered to vacate their apartments, but some have since been allowed to return.
It is not known what charges will come of the lab site.
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