Mounties in Richmond, B.C., say they've dismantled a large methamphetamine lab next door to an elementary school.

9440 Alberta Road, richmond9440 Alberta Road, Richmond

Police were called to the home at 9440 Alberta Road on Tuesday after fire crews found barrels of chemicals while dousing a small fire.

"They believed the potential chemicals in the drums were precursors for methamphetamine," said RCMP Cpl. Stephanie Ashton.

 Police also found finished methamphetamine inside the house and say it appears to be a fairly large operation.

"In part due to the heat, it's taking a while for our investigators to work their way through the site," Ashton said.

The home is separated from nearby Henry Anderson Elementary School by just a cedar hedge.

"It's always distressing to see this kind of operation set up on the parking lot of an elementary school," Ashton said.

Residents say they're shocked a meth lab was found in their quiet neighbourhood.

"It's just shocking. It’s like, wow — just right in your backyard that this type of thing is happening," said neighbour Neil Baylen.

"It's pretty quiet, you know, elementary school, close to the park," said neighbour Robert Arruda. "It’s surprising that there is a meth lab there but not really surprising in this day and age because they are all over the place."

Police say no one was in the home at the time of the fire.

Police say they don’t have any suspects at this point but they are trying to track down the owners of the property and investigators are probing a number of leads, including possible links to organized crime.