Weeks may pass before Red Deer City RCMP investigators determine whether there was any criminal activity inside an apartment searched after a fire in Clearview Meadows earlier this month.
The apartment building on Cardinal Ave. was evacuated while fire crews dealt with a kitchen fire in one of the suites at about 11:45 p.m. on July 3. Police were called to investigate further when firefighters noticed materials that could be part of a drug lab inside the suite.
Various units of the RCMP secured the suite and conducted a search, evacuating adjoining suites as a precaution. The ensuing search lasted almost 24 hours, wrapping up just before 5 p.m. on July 5 and allowing displaced neighbours to return to their homes.
Investigators seized more than 150 different items for further analysis. A variety of unknown chemicals and other substances have been sent to Health Canada for analysis.
Suspecting that the suite may have housed an illegal drug lab, police are awaiting results of the analysis before deciding whether any charges will be laid. Investigator suspect that a number of weeks will pass before results are returned to them.
The investigation has involved a number of different RCMP units, including the general investigations section, the priority crimes task force, the K Division clandestine lab enforcement and response team and the K Division explosives deployment unit. K Division, based in Edmonton, is the head office for the RCMP in Alberta.
Fire-medics with the city’s Emergency Services department remained on standby at the scene during the search.