Officials Discover Clandestine Lab After Fridge Explodes In SLC Apartment Building

Jan 23, 2021, 4:13 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2023, 5:43 pm
(Graham Dudley, KSL.com)...
(Graham Dudley, KSL.com)
(Graham Dudley, KSL.com)

SALT LAKE CITY — A man and woman were arrested and booked into Salt Lake County Jail after officials determined they were running a clandestine lab out of their apartment in downtown Salt Lake City.

Fire crews initially responded to the structure fire at 360 South 400 West shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday, according to SLC Fire Captain Anthony Burton.

Burton said the call came in as an explosion in a refrigerator from an apartment unit on the third floor.

When fire crews arrived, they found light smoke coming from the area.

Firefighters took an aggressive approach, but luckily, the fire was contained by the sprinkler system in the building.


“As they were making sure they didn’t have anybody inside the structure and the rest of the fire was out, they found some suspicious substances in there,” said Burton.

Hazmat crews and the health department were then called in.

The Salt Lake City Police Department also responded to the scene, and a warrant was issued to search the apartment. During the search, “it was found to be a working and operational clandestine lab,” according to the probable cause statement.

“Chemicals and other items were located to make illegal drugs,” read the PC statement. “During the search, drug paraphernalia was located, like a glass pipe used to smoke drugs… as well as packaged marijuana… (and) MDMA.”

Late Saturday night, two people — Ryan Joseph Cahouet, 25, and Brianna Westre, 21 — were arrested and booked into Salt Lake County Jail on charges of operating a clandestine laboratory, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance — marijuana.

Two units in the building were affected in the incident — one by the fire and one by water damage from the sprinklers.

Capt. Burton said two people were treated and released on scene for possible smoke inhalation.

“Very minor in nature,” he said.

No other injuries were reported.

Burton said the rest of the apartment structure was considered safe to be occupied.

The street between 300 South and 400 South was closed for several hours while officials assessed the scene.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair

After new homes flood, residents question if builder or Mother Nature is to blame

Several new homes in a Lehi community flooded during rainstorms earlier this month. When they say the home builder told them they weren’t responsible, they decided to Get Gephardt to investigate.
1 day ago
Andrew Adams

Taylorsville music store temporarily closed by broken pipes, flooding

The owner of a longtime music store said Tuesday that extreme cold temperatures contributed to a fire suppression system malfunction that led to pipes breaking and a flooded storefront. 
1 day ago
Ashley Moser

UDOT crews catch skiers in backcountry area closed for avalanche work

UDOT is urging everyone to obey backcountry closures after they caught two skiers in an area they shouldn’t have been.
1 day ago
Representatives from Utah tribes show support for HB40, a bill patterned after the federal Indian C...
Sydnee Gonzalez

Tribes call for Utah legislators to pass bill to protect Native children

Tribal leaders gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday to call on Utah legislators to pass HB40, which protects Native American children from unnecessary removal from families and tribes.
1 day ago
Utah State University students (mostly) bundled up against the cold weather. (KSL-TV's Mike Anderso...
Mike Anderson

Logan residents persevere through the second day of the winter chill

Logan residents push through the frigid weather as schools and businesses start late to help fight against the cold mornings.
1 day ago
Peter Sinks from Chopper 5...
Katija Stjepovic

Experiencing 62 degrees below zero at Peter Sinks

Tuesday marked another day of arctic temperatures in Utah with some areas even colder than Monday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Officials Discover Clandestine Lab After Fridge Explodes In SLC Apartment Building