In January of 2013 the Northampton County Drug Task Force along with the City of Bethlehem Police Department and Bethlehem Township Police Department began an investigation into methamphetamine sales in the City of Bethlehem and BethlehemTownship. The investigation progressed over the next two months leading officers to an individual who was later linked to 1965 Greenleaf St in the City of Bethlehem. A search warrant was issued for 1965 Greenleaf St. The search warrant service was planned for the morning of March 8, 2013 and was to be at 6:00 a.m.
On March 8, 2013 at 0301 hours the City of Bethlehem Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting a structure fire at 1965 Greenleaf Street. City of Bethlehem Fire and Police units responded. The initial call was that there was an explosion and subsequent fire. City of Bethlehem Fire Department personnel arrived and quickly extinguished the fire.
An adult female was at the scene with unknown injuries. She was transported to Muhlenberg Hospital by City of Bethlehem EMS. Information was developed that there were additional individuals in the home who fled after the fire ignited. A short period of time later police units responded to Lehigh Valley Hospital- Muhlenberg after word was received that individuals arrived at the hospital for treatment from fire related injuries.
A total of 4 more individuals had arrived, two males and two females. Information was developed that the two males had fled the explosion in a van. They fled the immediate area, abandoned the van and were driven to the hospital by an unidentified individual.
Two City of Bethlehem Police Officers who responded to the fire call sustained minor injuries. One suffered chemical burns and the other effects of inhalation of chemicals. Both were treated and released.
The Pennsylvania State Police clandestine laboratory team was called to the scene to assist with serving the search warrant and process the scene.
After the fire portion of this event was contained early this morning, there were no hazardous conditions that would have affected those in the neighborhood. City officials responded to inspect the building and have declared it condemned.
The investigation is ongoing and information regarding any criminal charges will be released in the future.
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NO FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE RELEASED AT THIS TIME