Racine house fire now being called a crime scene

RACINE (WITI) -- Crews responding to a house fire in Racine were surprised to find what they're calling a "clandestine drug lab" when they entered.

Neighbors watched firefighters make the shocking discovery.

"The minute they got in, they got out pretty quick because apparently whatever they saw in there was pretty bad," said Mitch Bass.

Hazmat crews removed materials that were apparently used to make drugs.

"To have some kind of meth lab or that many chemicals or flammable materials around, it's frightening," added Bass.

Otis Jones, another neighbor, said the owner of the home has been in hospice undergoing physical therapy and hadn't lived there for months. When the owner came home the morning of April 27th, his place was boarded up.

"I feel really sorry for him, he didn't, I heard him holler out, he didn't even know what was happening. His home was nice when he left it. Now it's all boarded up," said Geraldine Jones.

Neighbors also say the home owner's nephew had been caring for the house while he was undergoing therapy.

"I just sincerely hope the police catch whoever is responsible for that," added Bass.

Racine firefighters say timing was everything and the fire could have been much worse.

Related stories: