SPARTA, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Police are looking for the suspects involved in a drug investigation in Sparta Saturday morning.
Police received a call from the homeowner at 514 Hill St. reporting a potent chemical smell coming from the home.
When they arrived at the house around 6:22 Saturday morning, police said they had to evacuate it, finding what they suspect is a meth lab.
The Sparta Area Fire Department, the La Crosse Regional Hazardous Materials Team, and the Department of Criminal Investigations Meth Lab Team investigated the home, finding all the materials needed to cook methamphetamine , police said.
"It sounds like (the ingredients were) ready to be used and what we we're actually smelling was just the start of what could have potentially been a very dangerous situation," said Lt. David Livingston.
At the time of the search, the suspects were not cooking meth; they were not even home. Police know who the suspects are and still searching for them, Livingston said. They have not released more information.
"Thanks to the homeowner that he brought this to our attention otherwise people could have gotten hurt in the area or even the person that was cooking the drug," Livingston said.
John Dunnick lives across the street. He found out later that day what happened.
"Makes me pretty nervous, you know. I got a lot of kids at home here and just the fact that it happened across the street," he said.
Police are concerned about a growing methamphetamine problem in Sparta and the surrounding community.
"Unfortunately this is probably one of the most deadly drugs around," Livingston said.
While police continue their investigation, neighbors hope their community is as safe as they thought it was.
"Makes me wonder if I moved into the right neighborhood," Dunnick said.
If you see suspicious activity, Sparta police encourage the community to call your local police, or the La Crosse Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 784-TIPS.
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