December 6, 2021

Police: Charges lodged in meth lab blast

A Cortland man was charged this morning in connection with a meth lab explosion Saturday on Madison Street in Cortland.

Jason J. Hudson, 26, of 143 Madison St., apartment 9, was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree unlawful manufacture of methaphetamine, felonies. He was also charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor.

Cortland police Lt. David Guerrera said further charges are pending and Hudson awaits arraignment.

Police and firefighters said a onepot meth lab exploded about 12:25 p.m. Saturday at 143 Madison St., forcing a dozen evacuations, but injuring nobody.

When firefighters arrived, smoke could be seen, but there was no active fire, said Deputy Chief Wayne Friedman.

Police Lt. Michael Strangeway said the explosion knocked a bathroom door off its hinges.

The lab was found in the apartment of a 63-year-old relative, although Strangeway said she was not involved, nor was she injured in the explosion.

Residents were evacuated and evaluated at the scene by TLC Emergency Medical Service ambulance crews. Friedman said evaluations are standard procedure for such an incident and did not believe anyone was taken to a hospital.

A fire department engine remained on standby with a hoseline deployed while city police and the New York State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team processed the contents of “a suspected clandestine drug lab,” the release said.

All apartments in the building were cleared and allowed to be reoccupied around 5:15 p.m. except for the one police were investigating.