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Drug lab fumes send 5 LAPD officers, suspect to hospitals

Drug lab fumes send 5 LAPD officers, suspect to hospitals
LAPD investigators catalog evidence from a suspected illicit drug in Van Nuys that sent five LAPD officers and a suspect to the hospital. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Five Los Angeles police officers exposed to chemical fumes from a narcotics lab in a Van Nuys apartment were recovering early Monday, Los Angeles police said.

The officers responded to a radio call reporting a man screaming at 14839 W. Sherman Way shortly after 10 p.m. on Sunday, LAPD Sgt. J. Hensley said. On arriving, police found the door to the man's apartment open and discovered beakers and other lab materials, Hensley said.

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The officers and the suspect were transported to area hospitals for treatment after experiencing lightheadedness, but all were later released in good condition, he said.

The male suspect in his mid-30s was transported to LAPD's Van Nuys station for booking on suspicion of manufacturing narcotics, Hensley said.

Residents of approximately 12 adjacent apartment units were forced to evacuate and remained barred from their homes as of 3:30 a.m. Monday, pending an investigation.

A dog was also rescued from the scene and treated for exposure, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman said.

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