Firefighters decontaminate woman in shopping center lot

Firefighters decontaminate woman in Maryville shopping center parking lot

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Events unfolded in a parking lot for a Food City and several other businesses. Events unfolded in a parking lot for a Food City and several other businesses.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) - Officers found a wanted woman Friday in Maryville. However, before they could take her into custody, firefighters had to decontaminate her due to her exposure to meth.

The potentially dangerous events unfolded in a parking lot for a Food City and several other businesses. The woman's name and the details of her charges have not been released.

Tammy Smith often comes to the shopping center. She says after Friday morning's events, she'll pay closer attention in the parking lot.

"I feel sorry for all of us. It's not safe, and you never know what you're going to come across," Smith said.

According to Blount County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Marian O'Briant, the woman was attempting to buy ingredients to make meth. She tried to run from a car when officers approached.

Three men who were with the woman drove away and left her.

"She had indicated that she had been around a meth cook earlier so she had to be decontaminated at the scene before being transported to Blount Memorial to get checked out," O'Briant explained.

Firefighters spent time decontaminating the woman. Officials say it has to be done to protect the public.

"The precursors that are used to make meth, when combined, are very dangerous. So if you have any of those ingredients on you, on your hands or whatever, it could be potentially hazardous to other people," O'Briant said.

She says officers found the vehicle in Alcoa, but all signs of meth had been removed.

Due to the potential for meth labs to explode, residents worry about it being cooked in cars.

A meth cooking style called the one-pot method allows cooks to make it in a sealed container. They often flip the container upside-down to cause the reaction that makes meth.

"Something could explode and take out not only their lives, but everyone around them if you happen to park by them. It's a whole new twist on the issue," said Blount County resident Jeannie Royer.

"It makes me feel scared because if there's one person out here doing that, how many others are out here doing that?" Smith said.

One pot meth containers are sometimes thrown out the windows of cars. The remnants of the chemicals in the container are generally muddy brown in color. If you come across a discarded container, do not touch it. Call authorities.

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