'Potentially disastrous' meth lab busted in Pickering

Andy Santos, 58, of Pickering, stands in front of his next-door neighbour's house in a townhouse...

Andy Santos, 58, of Pickering, stands in front of his next-door neighbour's house in a townhouse complex at 925 Bayly St. on Saturday. Police busted a meth lab at Santos' next-door neighbour's house Friday evening. (IRENE THOMAIDIS/Toronto Sun)

Irene Thomaidis, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:05 AM ET

PICKERING, Ont. - Residents of a townhouse complex here “unknowingly faced a potentially disastrous situation,” Durham cops said a day after dismantling a meth lab.

“Usually the idiots who set up these clandestine labs do so in an industrial area,” Durham Regional Police Sgt. Tom Irving said Saturday. “This was in the middle of a residential zone.

“You’re talking about volatile chemicals. The production of methamphetamine involves chemicals that when mixed improperly can cause an explosion.”

Officers from Durham’s gangs, guns and drug unit, along with RCMP and Health Canada officials, descended on the complex at 925 Bayly St. around 5 p.m. Friday.

“Officers executed a search at the residence and found a number of pre-cursors, or ingredients, used to produce methamphetamine,” Irving said.

Emergency crews worked until 11 p.m. to dismantle the lab and two men were arrested, he said.

Andy Santos, 58, lives next door to unit 55, where the raid occurred.

“It’s scary, yeah. Everything about it was scary,” Santos said Saturday.

Santos said he was in his home and his wife was gardening when police officers in riot gear arrived and drew their guns.

“They were yelling at her to go inside,” he said. “It’s hard to believe this happened here. And then to realize you’re living next door to dangerous chemicals. We barely slept all night thinking about it.”

He said the unit was owned by a man, but he "didn't know him too well. "Mostly, we said ‘hi’ and ‘bye,'" he said.

The ordeal “was nothing (he) ever expected to happen."

“At least no one was hurt.”


Photos