Hazmat team finds possible meth lab in Belmont

Hundreds of yards from Twin Pines Park, where city officials keep their offices, a potential methamphetamine lab was found in a residence on South Road.

Officials are still investigating whether in fact it was a laboratory for the drug commonly known as “speed” but agents decided there was enough material present to conduct such an investigation.

There have been no arrests in connection with the lab as state officials try to track down the owner of the residence on the 900 block of South Road, Lt. Mark Wyss of San Mateo County’s Narcotics Task Force said.

“They’re trying to make heads or tails of who was residing there,” Wyss said.

At approximately 9:25 p.m. on Sunday, the Belmont-San Carlos Fire Department and Belmont Police responded to a hazardous materials call on South Road.

The narcotics task force was called and its expert in the field said that the materials found, such as glassware and chemicals, were consistent with a potential lab, albeit a small one, said Wyss.

California’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement is now handling the investigation and analysis of the materials.

Battalion Chief Dave Gillette of the Belmont-San Carlos Fire Department, a hazardous materials specialist for the county, said there are different methods of producing the extremely addictive drug. But, he said, meth labs generally contain some type of corrosive acid such as hydrochloric, a reactive and toxic substance such as red phosphorus and a volatile solvent such as acetone or fuel for a camping stove.

Gillette said the residue from cooking the substances and chemicals contaminates the entire house and the walls frequently need to be stripped during clean up.

The labs also pose a potential for fire, explosions and toxic gas releases.

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