Residents return after meth lab explosionA tenant who woke to a methamphetamine lab explosion below her feet Saturday is still haunted by the experience.
By: Dain Sullivan, The Dickinson Press
A tenant who woke to a methamphetamine lab explosion below her feet Saturday is still haunted by the experience.
“I thought it was an earthquake,” Tiffany Aman said as she recalled the moment the blast “rattled” her bed. “It was scarier than hell.”
Aman was alone when she saw a cloud of toxic smoke fill the hallways of the Temili apartment complex, located at 1589 10th Ave. W. in Dickinson. She is thankful police evacuated the building minutes after she dialed 911 and imagines what could have happened to the people who did not hear the bang or smell the smoke if help had not arrived.
“Everyone just kept sleeping,” Aman said. “The police also told me I was the only one that called that complaint in.”
Aman added that when she saw a suspicious man running from the building and asked him if he heard the noise, he simply said “no” and sped away in a pickup.
In the past, Aman has smelled weird odors and seen “strange guys” around the apartment below hers, but was never sure what to make of the activity.
“I had no clue what meth smelt like, so I had no idea,” she said. “The cops said he was cooking it in the bath tub, and our bath tub is the one right above it.”
Aman was able to stay with her mother after police evacuated tenants.
Approximately 30 members of the Dickinson Fire Department deployed a decontamination unit in the complex Saturday morning. But Aman said others were taken to Dickinson State University, “because American Red Cross was there.”
NaDean Schroeder, regional communications officer for American Red Cross, said volunteers lent a helping hand to evacuated families in need over the weekend.
“We’ve just assisted them with either shelter, food and clothing,” Schroeder said. “We have a lot of volunteers that respond to those situations.”
While authorities were unable to confirm over the weekend that a meth lab exploded Saturday, they were able to verify it Monday.
“I can confirm that was an explosion related to the manufacture of methamphetamine within the apartment,” Dickinson Police Department Capt. Joe Cianni said.
Cianni added that no one is in custody at this point, and only one person was injured.
Charges are pending as authorities wait for a tenant to be released from hospital care.
“One of the tenants that was associated with this, we believe, is still hospitalized,” Cianni said. “That person is at St. Joe’s right now.”
Police are not yet releasing the name of the hospitalized individual, who was “the only one in the apartment when the explosion occurred,” Cianni said.
Aman said authorities gave all tenants the go-ahead to move back into their units during the weekend, but she and her boyfriend no longer feel comfortable living in the complex.
It is hard be comfortable in the apartment, Aman said, because her landlord “does not give two rats” about protecting tenants and “there is still sketchy people living there.”
While Aman has been frantically searching for a new place to live, she has not had any luck.
For now, she has no choice but to sit tight.
“I’ve called possibly everyone I can, and no one has anything available,” she said. “I’m scared to live here, but there’s nowhere else to live.”