Deputies: Child discovers meth lab dumped in yard - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: Child discovers meth lab dumped in yard

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Some of the remains of the mobile meth lab deputies said was dumped in a Union yard. (Union Co. Sheriff's Office) Some of the remains of the mobile meth lab deputies said was dumped in a Union yard. (Union Co. Sheriff's Office)
UNION, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A child's discovery of a mobile meth lab led to a small blaze in an Upstate front yard, deputies said.

Union County deputies said they were called to a home on Williford Road after a plastic grocery bag containing what looked like trash caught fire.

The homeowner told deputies that a child picked up the bag that was found in the front yard and when the bag was dropped into some ground water, the fire started.

Deputies said the items inside the bag were used to make methamphetamine, but they do not know who dumped the bag in the yard.

"They had been abandoned evidently by someone driving down the road," said Union County Sheriff David Taylor. "They threw them out."

Taylor said the lithium from a few batteries started a 3-foot-wide fire in the yard.

SLIDESHOW: Pieces of plastic, meth lab remain after fire

Master Deputy Laura Campbell with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office said the lithium reaction can start fires. She knows a lot about the science of meth labs, once working as a narcotics officer, and she is certified in handling them.

"If there's chemicals that haven't been fully reacted, or the lithium that's in that reaction hasn't been fully dissolved ... lithium, in the air can cause it to ignite, and it's not a small fire when you light a match, it's an actual explosion," Campbell said.

Campbell said the chemical reactions can cause burns, frostbite, explosions and fires, which is why law enforcement has to suit up to clean meth labs.

She said the child that found the bag in Union was extremely lucky, and the discovery should be a warning for parents.

"If you can draw that same parallel from 'stranger danger' to, let's say 'package danger' for lack of a better way to say it, if you see something that is not yours, and you don't know what it is - even backpacks, because I've responded to backpacks in the woods, leave it alone," Campbell said.

"It's not a safe environment when you locate a meth lab," Taylor said.

Taylor said this was not an isolated meth lab discovery in Union County. He said they've found remnants of three mobile meth labs within the past week.

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