BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. (WALA) – A homeowner told FOX10 News he was doing a man a favor, but ended up having his home destroyed, because the man allegedly had multiple meth labs in his home.
FOX10 News caught up exclusively with the landlord of the home where officers found multiple meth labs.
While 30-year-old David Spain was allegedly cooking meth, he was sitting on his phone and pocket-dialed 911, according to police.
Police said Monday, July 14, they got a 911 call, but no one was speaking on the other line. So, as per protocol, police traced the call and responded to a quiet neighborhood off of Highway 188.
When police got on scene, they said Spain was outside the home, and quickly ran inside. It then took Spain several minutes to answer the door. Police said once Spain opened the door, there was a strong chemical smell coming from inside the house.
Police said they also noticed dark soot covering all of the walls of the house, and that’s what alerted them to something suspicious. That’s when police searched the home and said they found five “shake and bake” meth labs inside.
To protect his identity, we are referring to the homeowner only as Rick. Rick told FOX10 he was appalled to find out what happened.
“Just devastated, shocked, I’d never seen such a mess,” he recalled.
The homeowner knew Spain for some 20 years, and he allowed Spain to live at his home rent-free as a favor.
“I let this young man, come in rent free, he didn’t have (to pay) rent, because he didn’t have a place to stay,” Rick explained, “And if I had any idea that he would have been doing this kind of stuff in here, he wouldn’t have been here.”
The homeowner said he believes Spain accidentally started a fire there, fueled by the dangerous chemicals used to make the meth. Now Rick’s home is covered in soot and fire damage, leaving his sentimental vacation home with costly repairs.
“My dad and I bought it together, and he’s deceased now, but I just keep it for my sister and my kids to come down once a year, but I don’t rent it out to people,” he said, “It’s upsetting you know, trying to help somebody, and this is what you get, you know.”
Police said they do not suspect Spain was dealing meth, but rather cooking it for his personal use.
He’s charged with manufacturing meth, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.