Alliance Police say a meth lab was to blame for an explosion inside an apartment building Monday morning.
Alliance police were called to South Union Avenue around 8:30 a.m for a report of a strong chemical smell, loud noises, and glass breaking. Police evacuated the building in order for the Stark County Metro Narcotics Unit to clean up the meth lab, according to officers.
Later that Monday, officers located 33-year old Marvin Adkins, who had burns to his arm and hand. Police say Adkins was attempting to carry the meth lab outside when it started sparking and eventually exploded.
He was also injured when he dove through a glass window of a door that he could not open in order to escape from the blast.
(Photo courtesy of the Alliance Police Department)
Adkins was taken to Alliance Community Hospital for treatment and then taken to the Stark County Jail.
He was charged with illegal manufacture of drugs, a first degree felony since children were in the building at the time. Adkins also faces charges of possessing drug paraphernalia and possession of chemicals.
Bond for Adkins was set at $100,000 and he will be arraigned Wednesday in Alliance Municipal Court.
Alliance police are currently investigating the incident and more people may be facing charges.
You've heard about the growing meth problem in the area's cities...but rural areas are not immune to the spread of meth labs.
The MEDWAY drug enforcement agency handles drug cases in Wayne and Holmes County, and the Medina County cities of Wadsworth and Brunswick.
Senior agent Donald Hall says that rural areas have to deal with the growth of meth making just like cities do...and he's been a part of busts everywhere in the region, not just in cities like Wooster and Orrville.
"Anywhere and everywhere you can think of," Hall tells AkronNewsNow. "I've done them in cars, trunks of cars, I've done them in hotel rooms, campers, mobile homes, in people's closets and houses, out in the woods."
Hall says the low cost and ease of making meth labs has contributed to the rise in the number of labs, despite the very serious danger of working with potentially explosive chemicals.
"You don't need the Mexican cartel to get this methamphetamine," Hall says. "It's something that you can go to any retail outlet and buy the chemicals you need to make methamphetamine."
Like in the area's cities, Hall says he's busted a number of "mobile" meth labs.
"They could be driving around in the city or the country and just be cooking a bottle while they're driving around," Hall tells AkronNewsNow.com. "Obviously it's dangerous, but when they get done cooking they typically will leave it in the trash at the hotel room, unbeknownst to cleaning personnel...or they'll throw it out in the ditch or the roadway."
The used bottles are often found by people driving nearby.
Akron City Council is looking to get legislation on the books regarding the manufacturing and dangers of methamphetamine labs.
At-large Councilman Jeff Fusco says it is vitally important to educate the public on this ever-growing problem.
"We feel it is important for people to identify these meth labs," Fusco explained.
"A number of council representatives are working on this legislation and it's a work in progress."
Some of the pieces and parts to this proposal will include recouping money expended by the Akron Police Department on the cleanup of these labs as well as education on its dangers.
Akron City Council Members Garry Moneypenny and Marilyn Keith by Akron NewsNow
In the area,demand for methamphetamine has gone up despite government and law enforcement efforts to curtail the drug.
Ward 10 Councilman Garry Moneypenny says that part of the proposed legislation to alleviate some of the cost it takes to get these meth labs cleaned up is a necessity.
"Right now that cost is being absorbed by the residents of Akron, and with this we're trying to put some of that responsibility on the property owners."
Moneypenny, who has a background in law enforcement, says there are more "shake and bake" meth labs out there and that the drug can be made in many different ways.
There are many dangers that go along with meth making and usage, including people dumping the materials along the side of the road, causing fire hazards and causing issues for children who find these materials.
Ward 8 Councilwoman Marilyn Keith said this problem hasn't been relegated to just one area, it's a widespread issue.
"This isn't isolated to just one ward, this is all of our problem."
Moneypenny said as a councilman, he has gotten a big response at his ward meetings in terms of meth labs and their negative effect on their community.
A proposed legislation is expected to be introduced in the next couple of weeks.
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