CHICAGO (CBS) — Someone might have been making methamphetmine in a Hyde Park apartment building where a man was found dead early Wednesday, prompting a hazardous materials response, according to sources.
Police said drugs might have been manufactured in an apartment near 53rd and Woodlawn. Sources said meth might have been inside the apartment where the 25-year-old man was found dead, along with several items that could have been used to make the drug.
The man’s mother called 911 when she found him unresponsive in their apartment shortly after 2 a.m.
Paramedics found items they thought needed a closer look. Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said there was a funny smell in the apartment, and items that might be illegal. Langford said he could not identify the items that were found.
“That’ll be for the Police Department to do,” he said.
Sources said the items paramedics found possibly were related to drug making in the apartment. Langford said crews initiated a hazardous materials response, and evacuated the building.
Firefighters donned decontamination suits and oxygen masks to go into the apartment to collect air samples. The Police Bomb and Arson Unit also was called in to assist, and at least six bags of evidence were collected from the apartment.
The man found dead inside has been identified as 25-year-old Zachary Padove, who works as a veterinary technician at a nearby animal clinic.
What happened to Padove was unclear.
“He died shortly before we got there. I mean, it’s not like he’s been there for days,” he said.
Langford declined to comment when asked if there might have been a meth lab in the apartment, but said it’s “very possible” the items removed from the apartment were what killed Padove.
Area Central Detectives were conducting a death investigation.
As far as exactly what was found in the apartment, and any possible threat to public safety, officials said there is nothing environmentally hazardous to the public in the area.