Meth lab fire forces condo evacuation in Lido Beach

4:20 PM, Dec 4, 2012   |    comments
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A blackened 12th-floor balcony marks the condo unit where a fire broke out Tuesday morning. Investigators believe a meth lab sparked the fire.

Sarasota, Florida -- Condo residents had to evacuate Tuesday morning after a fire broke out in a Sarasota high rise.

Officials say the fire broke out in a 12th floor apartment of the Lido Regency Condominiums on Lido Beach around 8:30 a.m. There was no one in the apartment at the time.

Fire crews were able to contain the blaze, and a hazmat team is on scene.

Authorities say they found chemicals inside the unit that are used to make make methamphetamine as well as oxygen tanks and compressed gas tanks.

After fire crews cleared the scene, Sarasota Police secured a search warrant for the condo unit. 

All 13 floors of the condo were evacuated while crews secure the scene. The residents were taken to a nearby Holiday Inn by SCAT buses and may not be allowed to return to their homes tonight.

Eight firefighters were taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for treatment of possible exposure to the chemicals. No other injuries are reported.

10 News will have more on this developing story at 5 p.m.

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