Some meth lab homes are evading decontamination - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Some meth lab homes are evading decontamination

(WMC-TV) - Former meth lab homes are supposed to be cleaned and tagged as possible hazards before they are sold or rented. But some of those homes are falling through the cracks.

Things were quiet Wednesday at a home on Priscilla Avenue in Raleigh, but yellow and red warning signs in the window suggest another story.

Memphis police say 29-year-old Mario McAlister was driven to Methodist North Hospital by 39-year-old Traci Bowles.

Bowles told police she was at a friend's home down the street when she heard McAlister screaming from her driveway with skin falling off his body.

McAlister was eventually transported to The MED where he later died as a result of severe burns.

Investigators say when they went to the home on Priscilla Avenue, they found an active meth lab and burned clothing.

Bowles is now charged with promoting and initiating the manufacture of meth.

"If I would have known what was going on I never would've been that close to the house," said Vaughn Pearson, who lives down the street.

In August, Chopper 5 captured video of a separate meth lab bust on the same street where it intersects with Robbiedon Street.

Under Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation guidelines, property owners are required to hire a cleanup contractor.

Vaughn says he recently spoke to the woman who quarantined the home on Robbiedon Street.

"She said she was hired by the owner of the house and she said he had to come out of his pocket about $10,000 just to get the place cleaned," said Pearson.

Cleanup can costs as much as $25,000.

The Shelby County Register of Deeds keeps a list online of properties that have had meth contamination. There are 145 properties on that list.

"It makes me think I need to take a better look at my neighborhood, get to know my neighbors a little better," said Pearson.

If you would like to take a look at the Shelby County Register of Deeds online database, click here.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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