LINCOLN PARK – Something stinks in Fremont County. A strong smell late at night is is waking one neighborhood up and making them worried for their health and safety.
It’s been happening for about the past month in Lincoln Park, a mostly rural suburb south of Cañon City. The smell is so bad it’s making some people sick, and they’re asking for help to figure out what it is and where it’s coming from.
“It’s waking everyone up from dead sleeps, we’re having to shut our windows, turn off our A/Cs, our kids are waking up crying from this,” said Lincoln Park resident Joshua Hinton. It’s a horrid, stinky stench that happens only late at night. The kind of smell so bad, you can taste it. “It’s a bit like sticking your mouth over a bottle of hydrochloric acid and inhaling it,” Hinton said.
It’s no laughing matter for the neighbors who live in the area of Birch Street and Cedar Avenue. They’re worried it could be criminal. “This is a strong ammonia smell mixed with sulfur and gunpowder and it smells like all the classic hallmarks of a meth lab,” Hinton said.
Neighbors met with News 5 at Cañon City’s Veterans Park Wednesday, outside their own neighborhood, fearing retaliation if the cause of the odor is indeed a meth lab. Afraid to speak individually, Hinton spoke on their behalf. “There’s a lot more traffic in the neighborhood than is normal for a small-town, agricultural neighborhood,” Hinton said.
Neighbors have called the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and Fremont County Department of Public Health and Environment (FCDPHE), but the smell goes away as quickly as it arrives, usually only lasting about ten minutes as early as 9:30 p.m. but sometimes as late as 4:00 a.m. “By the time the deputies show up, that smell has moved out of the area and all you’re getting is just some lingering sewage-type smell from all the farm animals,” Hinton said.
Indeed, in a joint statement with Fremont County Code Enforcement and FCDPHE, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office said they have been unable to arrive before the smell has gone away and no meth labs have been found nearby.
Neighbors say they want undercover patrols throughout the overnight hours. “If they were out there when we were smelling this, rather than showing up after we call them, we would see an immediate response from the Sheriff’s Department,” Hinton said.