Lebanon investigators questioned two suspects believed to be involved in a methamphetamine lab explosion Saturday night at a motel.
Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen said Thursday he would not release the suspects’ identities during the open investigation.
“We are interviewing two suspects we believe were in the motel room when the explosion happened,” Bowen said. “At some point, evidence will be submitted to a grand jury for possible charges.”
Following the discovery of an active meth lab at a motel Sept. 30 and a meth lab explosion Saturday at Traveller’s Inn, Lebanon police Thursday distributed information to motels in and around the city to help them be more aware of meth-manufacturing signs.
“We want to try to give our motel managers tools to look at to possibly keep them from renting to these individuals looking for a place to cook meth,” Bowen said.
Bowen said there were five meth-manufacturing-related incidents in Lebanon in the past year.
The most recent involved an explosion Saturday night that blew out a wall and door on a room at Traveller’s Inn.
Police crime scene tape and quarantine notices remained hung around room 272 Wednesday at the motel behind O’Charley’s. Bowen said meth task force officer Chris Luna quarantined the two rooms on each side of where the explosion happened.
On Wednesday, the scene appeared to be untouched since Saturday night’s incident.
Bowen said the incident happened at about 7 p.m. and forced an evacuation of the motel while emergency personnel secured the scene due to the hazardous chemicals involved.
Lebanon officers specially trained to deal with hazardous chemicals and dressed in hazmat suits using breathing apparatus entered the room to determine whether anyone remained.
State Meth Task Force agents properly disposed of the meth lab and chemicals later Saturday night.
Bowen said witnesses told investigators two people quickly left the room immediately following the explosion. The witnesses said the two suspects were either dressed in all black or covered in residue from the explosion.
Lebanon police arrested a suspect after an active meth lab was found in a second motel Sept. 30 in an unrelated case.
Bowen said officers found the meth lab just before 8 p.m. inside a room at Southland Motel at 1107 N. Cumberland Street.
According to jail records, police arrested Ronald Fay Wilson, 46, of Lebanon, who was apparently a resident at the motel. Police charged Wilson with promotion of methamphetamine manufacture and tampering with or fabricating evidence.
Bowen said officers stabilized the scene and called in the Meth Task Force to properly dispose of the meth lab.
“We are lucky to have officers trained to handle situations like this,” Bowen said. “Something like this can be dangerous to officers who are not properly trained to deal with an active meth lab.”
Bowen said officers received a call about a strong smell coming from Wilson’s room from someone staying at or near the motel.