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Cortland Crews Manage Meth Lab Explosion, Rescue Trapped Kayakers

Local News

UPDATE: JUNE 25

Cortland Police now have a suspect in custody who they say is responsible for the one-pot meth lab explosion over the weekend inside a vacant apartment on Madison Street.

26-year-old Jason Hudson of Park Street was arrested early yesterday afternoon and formally accused of operating the drug lab, which exploded early Saturday afternoon and forced the temporary evacuation of around a dozen other residents in that building.

Charges are expected in the coming hours, according to CPD.


ORIGINAL STORY: JUNE 24

Meth Lab

Cortland Police and Fire Crews responded Saturday (June 22) afternoon to an explosion inside a Madison Street apartment caused by a one-pot methamphetamine lab.

Around a dozen residents of that building were temporarily evacuated just before 12:30 p.m., while responding crews worked to manage the active scene.

Eventually, TLC arrived and administered on-side evaluations to several of those who evacuated.

Thankfully, no injuries were reported.

Police say 63-year-old was asleep in the apartment with the meth lab, but at this time that person is not a suspect in the case. No arrests have been made, but that investigation is still ongoing.

Cortland FD Engine 201 remained on stand-by with a charged hoseline deployed while members of the New York State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team (CCSERT) processed the contents of the drug lab. All units were cleared and all apartments  were re-occupied by 5:15 p.m.


Tioughnioga River Kayakers

Just before 2:30 p.m., members of Cortland FD’s Swift Water Rescue Team were called to help rescue three kayakers stranded on an island in the rain-swollen Tioughnioga River.

Below is an account from FF Derek Reynolds, who participated in the rescues:

City firefighters responded with rescue truck 241 and boats. While responding, Chief Henry of the Cortlandville Fire Department received additional information that there were two kayakers trapped on an island in the middle
of the river closer to the Route 11 side.

A third kayaker had made it to the near shore on their own. Once the two stranded kayakers were spotted from
shore, CFD Swift Water Technicians donned appropriate equipment as Cortlandville firefighters set up a Rapid Deployment Craft (RDC) – an inflatable craft designed for water rescue. An upstream lookout and downstream safety were set in place and then rescuers paddled out to the island with life jackets for the victims and brought them to shore.

After the victims were safe on shore rescuers returned to the island to make sure there were no other victims and recover the kayaks. Once complete on the island, the Cortland Swift Water Team members assisted the Marathon Fire Department Airboat crew to free a kayak further down the river pinned by the current in a precarious spot.

The Cortland Fire Department works and trains closely with members of the Cortlandville and Marathon Fire Departments for events like this and we are happy this event had a successful outcome.

The Cortland Fire Department would like to take this time to remind people as the summer season starts to practice safety when going on the water. Always wear a personal flotation device. Never try and save a stuck kayak or raft – get out of the water and call for help. The water will go down, don’t drown!”

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