ELIZABETHTON — No charges had been placed as of Tuesday in the case of a “shake and bake” methamphetamine lab discovery that sent five children and an adult to Sycamore Shoals Hospital for observation after exposure to meth-making ingredients and forced the temporary evacuation of two apartment buildings on Sunday.
The incident began on Sunday afternoon when the juveniles found a water bottle in the woods behind the apartment building at 918 Pine Ridge Circle. The bottle contained chemicals and had a stopper and hose assembly on top. The juveniles picked up the bottle and carried it around as they road their bicycles.
According to a police report filed by Capt. Greg Workman of the Elizabethton Police Department, the juveniles were riding on their bicycles when the chemicals inside the bottle began to react. They handed the bottle to an adult, Jennifer Ferraro. Workman said Ferraro unscrewed the lid and gases began fuming out of the bottle.
Ferraro threw the water bottle onto the road and the gasses spewed into the air. When the bottle was thrown, another adult, Amy Perry, a friend of Ferraro’s was also exposed to the gases.
When officers arrived on the scene, apartment buildings at 922 and 923 Pine Ridge Circle, which were downwind from the bottle, were evacuated.
The Methamphetamine Task Force was mobilized and sent a hazardous materials trailer to the site. The hazardous material team dressed out and took possession of the bottle.
Once the decontamination team was set up, Ferraro, Perry and the five children were decontaminated. All but Perry were then taken to Sycamore Shoals Hospital for observation.
The clandestine laboratory was still under investigation by police as of Tuesday.