New Brunswick

19 people forced from Edmundston rooming house after police discover possible drug lab

Nineteen people from an Edmundston rooming house were forced out of their homes Thursday, while city police investigated a possible "clandestine drug lab" on the premises.

No arrests made after evacuation, which included some neighbouring homes

An explosive technician looks at the different products of the possible drug lab in Edmundston. Police cleared out a rooming house Thursday afternoon until Friday morning after they found materials that suggested a 'clandestine drug lab' was on the premises. (Bernard LeBel/Radio Canada)

Nineteen people from an Edmundston rooming house were forced out of their homes Thursday, while city police investigated a possible "clandestine drug lab" on the premises.

The evacuation on Monseigneur Plourde Avenue happened around 5 p.m., said Dan Bedell, the Atlantic communications director for the Red Cross. 

No one was arrested, and there were no reports of injuries.

Bedell said some neighbouring homes were also briefly evacuated.

'Products' on lawn

André Madore, a deputy chief with the Edmundston Police Force, said police discovered "products" scattered on the front lawn of the rooming house and inside a room on Wednesday night.

Madore wouldn't say what type of products were seized, but some were liquid and some were powder. They could be purchased at a hardware store. 

At the time of the discovery, many of the products were unknown to police, he said. 

"It was decided not to move any products until we ruled out any potential explosive products."

The Fredericton Police Force's explosive technician team was called in and was at the rooming house on Thursday. 

"They felt they had found enough items to clear [everybody out]," Madore said. Police seized more than 20 products from the area. 

"We did a thorough search of everything … to make sure there was nothing left behind," he said.   

An investigation is continuing, but residents returned to their homes Friday morning. Police stressed the building's owner is not a suspect. 

Red Cross volunteers arranged emergency hotel lodging and meals for 16 people.

About the Author

Elizabeth Fraser

Reporter/Editor

Elizabeth Fraser is a reporter/editor with CBC New Brunswick based in Fredericton. She's originally from Manitoba. Story tip? elizabeth.fraser@cbc.ca