UPDATE: Neighbor Reacts, 3 Arrested, Homeowner Burned After Toxic Manchester Meth Lab Blast

More details Friday on the meth lab explosion that landed one woman in the hospital and has three people facing charges. Neighbors said they recently noticed some suspicious activity.

UPDATED: 3:00 p.m. Friday - 

Three people have been arrested and charged in connection to Thursday night's meth lab explosion in a Manchester home.

"Warrants will be applied for at the St. Louis County prosecutors office,"  Captain Charles Hunn tells Patch.

Police and fire crews got the call around 9:05 p.m. Thursday of a fire in the basement of a home at 1105 Holgate Drive. 

Friday, neighbors tell Patch they are surprised and concerned, but recently noticed some suspicious activity at the home.

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Hunn said all three are facing charges of one felony count of intent to distribute/manufacture, one misdemeanor count of simple assault and one count of negligent burning or exploding.

Hunn said a 46-year-old woman, 35-year-old man and a 32-year-old man are all charged Friday. Two bonded out, but the 32-year-old is still in police custody because he is wanted on other charges in Jefferson County. Hunn was not sure if those were drug related charges.

"They were trying to do a 'shake and bake' with methamphetamine," Hunn tells Patch Friday. "They blew up everything that was down there."

Linda Beard, the homeowner, was not charged in connection to the crime, but she was hospitalized and treated for minor burns. 

"She was apparently trying to put out the fire that this thing started in the basement," Hunn explained. "Which is really crazy because, boy, when you breath this stuff in, you only have a few seconds before you do permanent damage to yourself."

Patch spoke with Beard's son Friday who declined to comment on the situation. However, he did say he was not home when the explosion happened and he is very upset about the incident and was unaware of what was taking place in the basement. He tells Patch his mother has been released from the hospital.

Police said the son was also not charged in connection to the lab explosion.

Hunn said the chemicals are toxic and the home is in the middle of a neighborhood.

"It's just a bunch of brick bungalo homes. It's a quiet neighborhood and there's kids living up there," Hunn said.

Shawnee McDunna lives next door to the home where the fire broke out. She tells Patch that she is very concerned about the news of a meth lab next door.

"I was just really surprised that the cops have not talked to us, or the fire department, since we are right next door." McDunna said Friday. "They haven't said anything about the chemicals."

Captain Hunn tells Patch that if the neighbors were in immediate danger due to the meth lab, they would have been notified.

McDunna said she found out there was a meth lab by talking to neighbors after Thursday night's fire.

"We smelled something and we came out and there was smoke," McDunna said. "Our whole house stank, it still stinks, we're still trying to air it out."

McDunna said she spoke with Beard's son a few times in the past and that he seemed like a nice man who spent time playing outside with his children. She does not think the children live at the home permanently.

She also does not believe meth making was an ongoing activity at the home.

"I was surprised," McDunna tells Patch. "There had been some people there the last two days that we never saw before."

Patch readers are also weighing in on the news of the meth lab explosion.

Nancy, Manchester resident, posted this comment on the Town and Country-Manchester Patch in response to the article.

"I have lived in this nice neighborhood for 8 years and it's sad to know this was going on. When I would walk past the house, it was always a mess - untidy lawn, miscellaneous crap around the house - just unkept. Now I know they were "too busy" to clean it up. It's unfortunate when one house makes the rest of the neighborhood look bad. I feel sorry for the woman that lived there with her kids. What will she do now? Where will she go now that her house is condemned? That being said, it was nice to see all my neighbors last night in their pajamas."

Manchester resident and Patch blogger Bonnie Krueger posted this comment on the initial article.

"What is scary is that these homes that are housing drug labs put the neighbors around them at risk. My sister lives in that subdivision, and what if it had exploded and impacted her house? Unforgiveable. I am tired of the drug trafficking in my neighborhood and frustrated by these inconsiderate drug dealers who think their choices are not impacting innocent people!"

The house was condemned Thursday night just before midnight.

Check back to Town and Country-Manchester Patch later today for any updates on this story.

Chris whitcomb April 01, 2012 at 08:59 AM
A shake-n-bake is done in a two liter bottle hardly a Meth lab Linda is right our friends need help an prayers tell your readers the real story not the investigators
Gabrielle Biondo April 01, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Chris and Linda - Obviously, I have to report what police and the fire Marshal tell me, but thank you for the comments about the homeowner. Police did tell me she is NOT charged in connection to the fire.
Johnny R April 02, 2012 at 01:54 PM
We lived in Chadwick 25 years and there was always major problems with the neighbor hood. At least 4 murders I am aware of maybe even more than that?
Jeff April 05, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Johnny - You have to be careful on the mean streets of Manchester - seriously?
Linda April 26, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Jean, 'the homeowner' was suffering from depression. Life is not easy. I cannot go downstairs due to acute arthritis in both knees. --- on second hand, you don't know me, I don't know you --- and I don't have to explain anything to you.


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