An entire apartment complex near downtown Lincoln was evacuated Monday morning after dangerous chemicals were found. Police confirmed late in the afternoon the chemicals were being used to manufacture meth.
Residents of the Colonial Apartments near 18th and K St. sat outside their building for most of Monday morning and afternoon.
"I don't like it," resident Traci Moore said. "I lost a day of work. I couldn't go into work because I'm not fully dressed."
They were waiting as Lincoln Police and Lincoln Fire and Rescue investigated what they believed to be a meth lab.
"I hear this loud crash and then some screaming," resident Samuel Hamilton said. "There was smoke kind of billowing out of the apartment."
Police say a neighbor heard 29–year–old Justin Kues and 26–year–old Shane–Marie Collins fighting around 6 a.m. and went to check it out. They say he noticed a small fire on the stove with heavy smoke and put it out while Kues and Collins left.
When officers arrived, they noticed a strong chemical smell and suspicious materials.
"There were some usual chemicals in the apartment, chemicals that might be used for cooking, making illegal drugs," Asst. Fire Chief Pat Borer said.
Investigators spent hours on the scene and say they found numerous chemical items and materials used to manufacture the drug.
Kues and Collins were arrested for both Manufacturing Meth and Possession of a Controlled Substance within 1000 feet of a school.
Late Monday afternoon, some of the residents were allowed to go back to their apartments but many first floor units are still blocked off.