YORK POLICE BUST $10M ECSTASY LAB Chemicals used to make drug found in Markham residence Firefighters found garage lab after putting out fire, police say York Region police have busted a huge ecstasy manufacturing operation at a Markham home, seizing chemicals and drugs worth an estimated $10 million. The drug lab was in the garage of the residence on Manhattan Dr. near 16th Ave. and McCowan Rd., police said. York fire crews discovered the lab on Saturday after responding to reports of smoke coming from the house. The fire was quickly extinguished and disaster narrowly avoided, according to police. "As with any chemical, you have to treat it with care or there could be a major explosion," said Sergeant Joanne Waite of York Region police. "These industrial-grade chemicals are very highly flammable." Investigators found various equipment and chemicals used to make the drug ecstasy. Substantial amounts of the chemicals, which include ethanol and dextromethorphan, were also found scattered within the house, police said. Police and fire crews were dismantling the drug lab yesterday. A Health Canada cleanup unit was also called in to decontaminate the house of chemicals. "The immediate neighbours of the home were informed of the possible danger of chemical exposure and were suggested to leave the area," Waite said. Most decided to leave, but some stayed, she said. Police estimate it will take a few more days to complete the cleanup. Investigators say they still don't know who owns the house. "The tenants were long gone when we came," Waite said. According to neighbours, two people recently moved into the home but were rarely seen outside. They could face charges when they do show up, Waite said. This isn't the first time York police have made a major ecstasy drug bust. Four years ago this month, York Region police seized millions of dollars worth of the chemicals used to produce ecstasy from a Markham home. It was considered to be the largest illicit-drug laboratory bust in Canadian history. But Waite says while ecstasy is a common illicit drug in York Region, it's unusual to find drug labs and manufacturing operations in the region. "We haven't come across too many labs in York Region recently," Waite said. "So this is a surprise."