Police investigate suspected drug lab explosion

Last updated 11:21 22/03/2014
Pt Chevalier fire
MICHAEL BRADLEY
DRUG INVESTIGATION: Oven explosion sparks investigation into suspected drug lab at Auckland home.

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An oven explosion has sparked an investigation into a suspected drug lab at an Auckland home.

One man is in police custody and police have confirmed there are drugs in the Point Chevalier house.

Officers from the clandestine laboratory team searched the property about 10.30am Saturday.

It followed a police chase where a man from the property attempted to flee down the street.

Residents said they saw the man running off, and that he was quickly detained.

Fire crews have blocked off the street and have inspected the house. There was limited structural damage and no injuries after the explosion.

Neighbours described a huge bang as the oven exploded just after 9am. 

"It was an almighty crash. We certainly got a bloody big fright," neighbour Ash Brown said.

Brown, who has lived in Buxton Street for 41 years, said it was a quiet street full of family homes.

"This is something very out of the ordinary."

Senior Sergeant Simon Welsh said the house would continue to be searched for drugs.

Officers wearing full body hazard suits were still on site.

A number of neighbours said the property, which is believed to be government housing, had been a source of multiple concerns in the past year.

"There's been pitbulls, constantly changing tenants, people subletting it, it's definitely had its issues," one neighbour who asked not to be named, said.

The man said he and other neighbours have asked the Department of Housing to investigate the site numerous times.

He said he was concerned, but not surprised, to see the tenant investigated for drug production. 

"I don't think anyone really knew what was going on in there."

"We've effectively got a P-lab on our doorstep."

"There's five year old kids just down the street."

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- Fairfax Media

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