Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hazmat situation at the death scene of homebrewer and stoner Zachary Padove in Hyde Park, Illinois due to strange odor

HYDE PARK, ILLINOIS — A man was found dead in his Hyde Park apartment early Wednesday in a situation that required a hazardous materials team to respond.

Zachary Padove was found in his apartment when police arrived at 2:30 a.m. at the building in the 1200 block of East 53rd Street, authorities said.

Police noticed an unusual smell, and the Chicago Fire Department brought in a hazmat team to manage a potentially toxic situation.

Larry Langford, a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, said Padove's mother called the police when she found him unconscious.

The Chicago Medical Examiner's Office identified Padove, though it could not immediately confirm his age. Padove was a veterinary technician assistant at the nearby Hyde Park Animal Clinic since 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Padove, according to his personal website and homebrewers forums, was interested in brewing beer in his home, as well as in fermented foods like Korean kimchi and kombucha.

"There were other things going on in there," Langford said.

He said police were treating the apartment as a crime scene, and state agencies were being called in to help investigate.

"If anyone goes back in there, they will probably be masked up and suited up," Langford said.

He declined to say what the specific danger was, but said the other tenants in the building were never in any danger and likely would be able to re-enter the building.

The Chicago Fire Department was wrapping up its investigation at 10 a.m., with a single sample of possibly illegal substances from the apartment being analyzed by firefighters and police, according to Langford.

Padove's body remained in the apartment, and police were expected to continue their investigation into the afternoon.


CHICAGO (CBS) — Someone might have been making methamphetamine in a Hyde Park apartment building where a man was found dead early Wednesday, prompting a hazardous materials response, according to sources.

Police said drugs might have been manufactured in an apartment near 53rd and Woodlawn. Sources said meth might have been inside the apartment where the 25-year-old man was found dead, along with several items that could have been used to make the drug.

The man’s mother called 911 when she found him unresponsive in their apartment shortly after 2 a.m.

Paramedics found items they thought needed a closer look. Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said there was a funny smell in the apartment, and items that might be illegal. Langford said he could not identify the items that were found.

“That’ll be for the Police Department to do,” he said.

Sources said the items paramedics found possibly were related to drug making in the apartment. Langford said crews initiated a hazardous materials response, and evacuated the building.

Firefighters donned decontamination suits and oxygen masks to go into the apartment to collect air samples. The Police Bomb and Arson Unit also was called in to assist, and at least six bags of evidence were collected from the apartment.

The man found dead inside has been identified as 25-year-old Zackary Padove, who works as a veterinary technician at a nearby animal clinic.

What happened to Padove was unclear.

“He died shortly before we got there. I mean, it’s not like he’s been there for days,” he said.

Langford declined to comment when asked if there might have been a meth lab in the apartment, but said it’s “very possible” the items removed from the apartment were what killed Padove.

Area Central Detectives were conducting a death investigation.

As far as exactly what was found in the apartment, and any possible threat to public safety, officials said there is nothing environmentally hazardous to the public in the area.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017 01:18PM
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A death investigation was underway Wednesday after a man was found unresponsive in an apartment building on Chicago's South Side. A suspicious odor forced evacuations and brought hazardous materials crews to the scene.

Authorities sounded the all clear around 10 a.m., after firefighters and hazmat crews determined there was no environmental threat to people in the 1200-block of East 53rd Street in the city's Hyde Park neighborhood.

Area Central detectives led the death investigation and at least one FBI agent was spotted at the scene.

Emergency responders were called to the three-story building around 2:30 a.m. A mother had found her 25-year-old son unconscious and not breathing in their apartment.

Paramedics tried to revive the man, identified to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office as Zackary D. Padove, but couldn't. Police said he was dead at the scene.

Around 4:30 a.m., first responders noticed a strange smell in the apartment and sensed things seemed out of place. That's when hazmat crews were called in and at least six residents were evacuated from the building.

Neighbors, like Tanya Scruggsford, watched the situation unfold and was troubled by the investigation.

"Me and my child, we kind of walk to the park on this block. We're always passing by this building. To hear that someone has lost their life, it's really concerning for me as a parent," Scruggsford said. "We are a close-knit community here. If anything happens we want to make sure that our friends and family in the area are OK and they're safe."

The medical examiner has yet to determine the manner and cause of death. There were apparently no obvious signs of trauma.

Neighbors were expected to be let back into their apartments Wednesday.