RESIDENTS of about a dozen homes in Eagle Harbour were evacuated for several hours Monday evening after fire broke out in what police suspect was a clandestine drug lab.
Firefighters were called out to a fire at a house at 5535 Greenleaf Rd., a quiet residential street in West Vancouver, about 3 p.m. Monday.
Fire crews who responded to the call alerted police after discovering potentially hazardous materials inside the home.
Police refused to say exactly what was found in the house, but quickly called in the RCMP's Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team and evacuated homes within a one-block radius as a precaution.
Typically, illegal drug labs "will involve the presence of chemicals that can be hazardous on their own and hazardous when combusted," said Const. Jeff Palmer, spokesman for the West Vancouver Police Department. "That's always a concern in these kinds of investigations."
Palmer said fire crews encountered one person, believed to be a resident of the home, outside the house when they arrived. That person was taken to Lions Gate Hospital for possible smoke inhalation.
Neighbouring residents were allowed back into their homes shortly before 9 p.m.
"We're satisfied there's no ongoing risk to people in the neighbourhood," said Palmer.
Although the fire didn't heavily damage it, the home remained behind police tape Tuesday morning while officers applied for a warrant to conduct a more extensive search. "It's a very active investigation," said Palmer.
No arrests had been made by press time.
Palmer said the home was not previously on the police radar for any kind of suspicious activity.