Police are still searching for the suspects behind a substantial drug lab discovered by accident next door to an elementary school.
Richmond RCMP got the call to investigate Tuesday night after firefighters, dealing with a house fire at 9440 Alberta Road - which skirts Anderson elementary - found a truckload of suspicious materials.
Inside the singlefamily home in Richmond's Brighouse district, the RCMP's clandestine lab team and the local detachment's drug unit spent much of Wednesday pulling apart what appears to be a sophisticated meth lab.
Cpl. Stephanie Ashton, of Richmond RCMP, said a large amount of "completed meth amphetamine" was found among the "dangerous materials" in the home.
Police also found gallons of different chemicals in a number of large barrels.
Although not able to speak on how big the drug operation was, Ashton said the investigation went beyond the garage and into other areas of the home, including a shed in the backyard and presented obvious dangers to the surrounding neighbourhood, including the school and daycare.
She said had a larger fire or explosion broken out, the home "could have been completely engulfed" before first responders arrived on scene.
"We're right next to an elementary school and to a children's daycare," Ashton said, speaking to the possible dangers Ashton said, speaking the clandestine lab previously presented, whether it be the threat of an explosion or toxic vapours wafting through the neighbourhood.
"The thought that this was running without the protection of police ... was very concerning.
"Had there not been a fire, they could have continued to be operating after that point as school was in session."
No one was inside the home when the fire broke out on Tuesday evening and the school, which is separated from the home by a giant hedge, was not in session.
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