From meth lab to demolition


OAKWOOD — This home is now just a pile of debris.

But six months ago the mobile home at 248 Lee Street was a meth lab.

Neighbors say they’re breathing a sigh of relief watching it be torn down.

Many watched as an eyesore was removed from the small town of Oakwood.

“You get vehicles from out of the neighborhood stopping at all of these residences all hours of the night but would only stay for maybe 5 minutes and then leave.” 

Ferrell Stroh lives a few houses down. He says what he saw just wasn’t adding up.

“It’s not so much the property itself it’s that location in that area as far as what I’ve been seeing.”

Last summer multiple police agencies busted Ernest Stinchcomb. He was sentenced to six years for cooking meth inside this home.

“VMEG and the Oakwood police department have been there several times in the past few years.” 

And although he didn’t live there anymore. The mobile home still sat in the same place.

“The neighbors around there they wanted it gone, they knew what was in there.”

Oakwood’s police chief Josh Bennett says removing it was the best option.

“The contamination that’s associated with the meth it permeates everything in that building, that structure from the ceiling tile to the sub floor.” 

“It can never be cleaned for someone to ever move in there.” 

Clay Woodard serves as the mayor and he wants this to be a warning.

“That type of activity will not be tolerated within any community in vermilion county and certainly not in Oakwood.” 

Since the lab was shut down Stroh has started a neighborhood watch. And is an extra set of eyes and ears for police.

“With the help of law enforcement and with the community want to make this a better place. I’m proud to call this village my home, it’s a great place.” 

Once the property is cleared then the village can take the next step. They will be working with the property owner.

They have talked about putting a park in place of the home. But nothing have been decided yet. 


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