By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 23, 2010; 11:41 AM
Police discovered a methamphetamine lab inside a freshman residence hall on the Georgetown University campus early Saturday.
Four hundred residents of Harbin Hall were evacuated and two freshmen were detained for questioning. Students and administrators at the prestigious private university were startled by the find.
"For this campus, this is very out of the norm," said Kayla Bostwick, 18, a freshman rousted from her room at 6 Saturday morning. "This should not happen."
A caller to campus police reported strange odors from a 9th-floor room about 5 a.m., said Julie Green Bataille, university spokeswoman. Officers entered the double-occupancy room and found the lab.
Students were evacuated because of the potential for meth labs to explode. They were sent to a nearby dining hall and to the student center.
"We needed to make sure the building was safe," Bataille said.
DC police were interviewing the two detained students in mid-morning, as students milled around among rescue vehicles. Gawkers included the university's Bulldog mascot.
Natalie Muller, 18, was among those evacuated.
"People were going around pounding on doors, saying 'You need to evacuate,'" she said. Students were allowed to return briefly for essentials.
"I got my computer, my wallet, my phone and my Go Card," or campus debit card, Muller said.