IRWIN, Pa. -
A woman is facing charges following the evacuation of a six-unit townhome in Irwin on Tuesday, police said.
Authorities said Brenda Everette, who is a tenant of the townhome located on 10th Avenue, was using acid to extract chemicals from a nasal decongestant. Police said the process caused the corrosion of natural gas pipes in the building, and the smell is what prompted the evacuation.
"She was using the muriatic acid in a chemical process to derive the active ingredient from the inhalers, which she later used to get high off of," Irwin Police Chief Roger Pivirotto said.
Neighbors noticed the smell of natural gas and notified the gas company. When the company and maintenance workers arrived, they found the corroded pipes were contained to Everette’s apartment.
The county hazmat team found abnormal amounts of chemicals inside Everette’s apartment.
“The neighbors were put in danger by the chemicals that were being used in the house,” Pivirotto said.
Everette is charged with reckless endangerment and risking a catastrophe.
Residents were allowed to return to their homes around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday after repairs were made to the gas lines.