The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office says an overwhelming chemical smell prompted neighbors to call authorities to a Ladson apartment complex where meth lab materials were found, along with a man who apparently tried to commit suicide.
According to an incident report, deputies responded to the complex on Hickory Lane, off Ladson Road, around 2 p.m. Thursday after a resident reported smelling a strong chemical smell coming through her vents, from what she believed was coming from the apartment unit next door.
The resident told deputies she had smelled the odor in the past, and when she did, her nose and lungs would burn.
As the interview continued, deputies said they saw a woman, 31-year-old Heather Lynn Britt, walk out of the neighboring apartment unit. When deputies asked why she was there, she told them she was there to clean the apartment for a friend.
Deputies said they smelled an "overwhelming chemical odor," but Britt said she had just finished cleaning the residence with bleach. She showed the deputies a basket containing Windex, Clorox, Orange-Glo wood furniture spray, and Swifter dust-and-shine.
Deputies told Britt they would have to go inside to investigate the smell. Once inside, deputies found 33-year-old Theodore Almers lying on the bathroom floor holding a pocket knife and bleeding profusely from his right wrist.
Deputies said he was suffering from "several severe lacerations." He was taken to Summerville Medical Center for treatment.
Major John Garrison also said meth-making materials were found in the home.
Charges are pending for both Britt and Almers.
Neighbors expressed concern for their lives at the scene.
"I don't like it here anymore. It made me feel really bad. I don't want these kinds of neighbors. I thought I was living in a safe place, now I see this when I come home from work. Now I'm looking at my options thinking I should move," one resident said.
Another resident said the situation made her "very nervous."
"We live in an apartment building and if something were to go wrong and catch on fire, I mean that's all our stuff, everything we have is in that apartment. We could lose everything base on someone's stupidity," she said.