Child seen in Coal Township 'meth house'
COAL TOWNSHIP - Some of the occupants of a Coal Township house where a methamphetamine lab was discovered Monday night have returned home.
Four children ages 8, 10, 11 and 13, and an adult female, identified in the warrant as April Stahl, were evacuated from 1012 W. Spruce St., Coal Township, after two other occupants of the house, Thomas Reddinger and Roger J. Shaw, were allegedly discovered manufacturing methamphetamine in the basement. Police said they removed numerous chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine as well as a powder substance identified through testing as methamphetamine from the house. Shaw and Reddinger remain in Northumberland County Prison on $75,000 bail each.
New to code officer
Christopher Petrovich, Coal Township code officer, confirmed Wednesday that tenants had returned to the property.
The face of a young girl was seen through a first floor window of the house Wednesday afternoon.
Petrovich said he is in the process of working with the owner of the property, identified as Jason Cristan and Kathleen Glosek on public tax records, on some code violations.
During Monday night's bust, police identified a significant amount of garbage in the area behind the building that needed to be removed, said Petrovich. He said he would also be conducting an in-home code inspection with one of the property owners sometime next week.
Petrovich said he does not handle air or wall testing related to methamphetamine, and that this was his first such case within his jurisdiction. He said he is unsure what to expect inside the home. He isn't aware if the landlord has a legal right to prevent the family from moving back in.
A call to the Northumberland County Department of Public Safety, which handled the decontamination of Reddinger and Shaw, was not returned Wednesday.
'A lot to do'
Jon Meehan, co-owner of Athens Solutions, a Maryland-based biohazard cleanup company with experience decontaminating methamphetamine homes in Pennsylvania, said treating a methamphetamine lab usually cost between $5,000 and $30,000 and takes one to two days. If the contamination is severe, the cost could reach into the six figures and the process could take a week to complete, he said.
"You essentially go in with the suits on and treat the entire property with a chemical, scrub the entire property down, remove some drywall," said Meehan. "Any porous materials have to be treated, removed or sealed, and you have to seal the entire place and use an air scrubber to scrub down the air. You have to treat the HVAC system. There's a lot to do."
Meehan said an industrial hygienist also comes to the property and performs tests before and after the cleanup to ensure all the dangerous chemicals have been removed.
Toxins released during the manufacturing process of methamphetamine can cause numerous health issues, including cancer, eczema, asthma and neurological damage.
"They use a lot of toxins when they make meth; there's a lot of carcinogens," said Meehan. "You're putting your health at risk essentially."