The Edmond Sun

Local News

July 31, 2012

Edmond Police seek answers in Arcadia Lake meth lab explosion

EPD releases names of male, female sent to hospital

EDMOND — A 35-year-old female suffered third-degree burns over more than 50 percent of her body when a meth lab at an Arcadia Lake campsite exploded, officials said.

Edmond Fire Maj. Kelly Lewis said at about 8:45 p.m. dispatch received a call about an explosion outside at Scissortail Campground, 6400 E. 15th St. Due to a reported explosion and two possible victims, several units were sent to the scene, Lewis said.

When department personnel arrived on the scene they found a small smoldering fire inside an RV parked at a campsite, Lewis said. They found two victims with burns — a 35-year-old female and a 43-year-old male, he said.

No campers in the area were injured, Lewis said. A camper at a nearby site rendered first aid.

Jenny Monroe, spokeswoman for the Edmond Police Department, described the incident as a flash fire. Monroe said a meth lab was dumped in bushes near the RV. Details on the nature of the lab were not immediately available.

Edmond’s hazmat unit responded to the scene as did personnel with the Edmond Police Department, who were there most of the night. Lewis said the hazmat unit returned to service at about 3:45 a.m.

Both of the victims were transported by EMSA to the Paul Silverstein Burn Center at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center, Lewis said. Tuesday morning, the female was in the intensive care unit, Lewis said. The condition of the male, who suffered second-degree burns over about 20 percent of his body, was not known.

An Edmond Fire Department investigator went to the burn center and both victims responded to questions about the incident, Lewis said. When the meth lab was discovered, the incident became a Police Department matter.  

Monroe said personnel remained at the scene assisting with the response past 5 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Monroe said the agency’s investigation into the incident continues. Tuesday afternoon, the  EPD released the names of the male and female. Monroe said the female is Christina Leigh Martin, 35, of Mounds, who has an outstanding Creek County warrant. The male is Owen Lee Dandridge, 43, of Kellyville, a registered sex offender with a known drug history, Monroe said.

“Detectives are not able to speak to either suspect at this time due to the nature of their injuries and level of care being received,” Monroe said.

Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics announced that meth lab seizures have been climbing.

OBN spokesman Mark Woodward said each time a disposal crew is dispatched to a meth lab site it costs the state hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In this case, OBN personnel packed materials in several 5-gallon spill-proof buckets, Woodward said. They were at the scene for about an hour and a half.

A new recipe which uses smaller quantities of pseudoephedrine allowed meth cooks to get around existing state law, Woodward said. As a result, meth lab seizures climbed from 148 in 2007 to as high as 818 in 2010; 909 meth labs were seized in 2011 and the number this year is on pace to be even higher, Woodward said.  

A method called “shake and bake” or the “one pot method” is used to produce meth in a 2-liter soda bottle. Cold pills are crushed and mixed with common, but noxious household chemicals and shaken in the bottle. The method produces enough of the drug for a few hits.

In the Arcadia Lake incident, three 20 ounce soda bottles were removed, Woodward said.

Woodward said officials are relieved that no small children were at the campsite. In the future, the site may need to be tested for contaminants to ensure peace of mind, he said.

Woodward said it is fortunate that no small children were at the Arcadia Lake campsite. He cited an incident in Del City in which three children were killed in an RV fire. During the ensuing trial, prosecutors said the RV contained drugs and a propane tank. | 341-2121, ext. 108


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