4 Birmingham officers hospitalized after discovering meth lab - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

4 Birmingham officers hospitalized after discovering meth lab

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Birmingham Police on Scene of meth lab and homicide. Source: Clare Huddleston/WBRC Birmingham Police on Scene of meth lab and homicide. Source: Clare Huddleston/WBRC
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Four Birmingham Police officers were taken to a hospital after coming in contact with a meth lab.

Officers originally responded to a unit at Connemara Park Apartments on Clairmont Avenue to investigate a possible shooting around 6 a.m. The responding officer was unable to locate any activity. About 20 minutes later, dispatch received another call of a deceased person.

Police say that's when they discovered 23-year-old Derrick Phillips, dead, and also found an active meth lab.

Neighbor Brian Stokes was the one who called 9-1-1 after hearing some very loud noises from Phillips' apartment.

"And I peeked towards his apartment and saw his door open, keys in the lock," Stokes said. "I look a little further and saw him face down on the ground."

Stokes went back to his apartment and call authorities. Officers arrived but before they could fully investigate, they smelled something strange.

They evacuated, realizing they could be close to a meth lab, but now before the fumes encircled them causing headaches and burning eyes. The officers were rushed to the hospital and hazmat crews were called in.

Crews  had to clean the apartment before the coroners could enter and start the death investigation. They too had to wear protective gear and go through decontamination.

It was all surreal for Stokes but he says it doesn't change his mind about his neighborhood.

"I haven't seen any other issues in this area. Had no other problems. So my thing is...it can happen anywhere," he said.

Anyone with information in the case is encouraged to contact the BPD 205-254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.

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