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Martin Meth Lab Effects Man's Home

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

WEAKLEY COUNTY, Tenn.- One resident, who was displaced from his home for several weeks, was finally allowed backin his home on Saturday. Police said they quarantined the resident's duplex on East Heights Drive after authorities busted his neighbors for living in a suspected Meth lab in June.

Robert Jimerson said he was forced to leave his home for more than two weeks after the Weakley County Sheriff's Office advised Martin police that someone was using a "shake and bake" method to produce methamphetamine inside of the neighboring apartment. Officials said the suspected meth lab caused a fire in the bathroom, which forced both sides of the duplex to be quarantined.

"I'm lucky. It could have been a lot worse then what it was. I could have been caught in an explosion or somebody could have been killed, " said Jimerson.

Tennessee currently ranks third in the nation for Meth Lab seizures. According to Weakley County Resolution Reports, the number of lab seizures in the county has increased by 132%. Officials said the annual increase comes from the 25 labs that have been reported in the county since 2012. Residents said they feel the drug is taking over their community.

"It's very addictive. I've seen people lose their lives over it," said resident Quentin Nobles. " I hear about meth all the time everyday. Every time I look on the news there a meth lab here, there and everywhere."

Jimerson was displaced while authorities cleaned and detoxed the duplex for dangerous chemicals.

"They let me take my medicine and my cat...I think police decided that was the only thing safe that I could take out at the time," said Jimerson. " I thought a lot about my photographs. They're the most important things to me, and they can't be replaced."

"I just never thought I'd be in that position. To me, Martin is small town and I've never been around anything like this before. I was stunned," said Jimerson.

Officials said once a meth lab is discovered, it affects more than just the people living in the lab. It's expensive to quarantine, clean, and then re-test the area for toxic fumes.Officials estimate the clean-up to be near $10,000.

" What people need to do is speak up more so we can stop these meth labs going on. If we don't it's just going to get worse," said Nobles.

To combat the rise of meth lab production, Weakley County is in the process of trying to pass an ordinance to make the over the counter allergy medicine, pseudoephedrine, by prescription only. Officials said the sinus medicine is commonly used in the production of Meth. The County is expected to vote in early August.