Police and firefighters responded to a suspected meth lab explosion at a room of the Days Inn on the 400 block of Bowie Street around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“This is not what we expected to see,” said hotel guest, Leslie Boswell, as she returned to the hotel to find first responders.
The blast blew out the window of the hotel room, scattering shattered glass throughout the parking lot.
“As soon as I heard the explosion, I smelled the chemicals and I assumed it was a meth lab,” said guest Justin Jetti, who was in his room when the blast happened.
Not knowing what kinds of chemicals were used in the suspected meth lab, investigators approached the scene with extensive care.
"Once we determine what kind of chemicals we're dealing with, what kind of combination we're dealing with, what sort of containers they were held in, that’s how we're going to approach it,” said SAPD Sgt. Javier Salazar.
Jetti says he saw a man running from the hotel room seconds after the blast. "I looked out the window because I didn’t want to come outside and I saw someone running with blood on his face,” he said.
Police immediately began searching the area for the suspected criminal chemists who caused the explosion.
Investigators believe they may have run off with a suitcase or gym bag that contained chemicals.
"We are asking that anybody in the area that might find a bag lying around, it could be from here and it could contain dangerous chemicals,” said Salazar. “We're asking people not to touch it and to call 911 as soon as possible so we can get that recovered.”
Meanwhile, some hotel guests were left wondering whether they could- or should- continue their stay.
"We've got a very nice place to stay tomorrow but I wanted to cut cost for tonight, and I’m thinking now maybe I shouldn’t have,” Boswell said.
Initially, police took one woman into custody but it was unclear whether she would face any charges.
Officers were looking for two males between the ages of 30 and 40 years old who might have chemical burns.