Authorities cordoned off an apartment in the Avalon Run apartment complex in Lawrence Township for much of Sunday and Monday after “unsanitary” conditions were allegedly found inside the unit.
However, the quarantine was lifted Monday afternoon after it was determined that the contents of the apartment did not pose a danger to residents of neighboring apartments, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation.
The unusual sequence of events began at 12:10 p.m. Sunday (July 22) when Lawrence Township police received a call from a resident of the apartment on Town Court North reporting that his elderly mother – who is in her 80s – had fallen from her wheelchair and he needed help getting her back into it, officials said.
Police and emergency medical personnel responded and allegedly discovered the apartment to be so “unsanitary” that they feared for the welfare of the residents, officials said, noting that both the elderly woman and her son were transported, separately, via ambulances to a local hospital to be evaluated.
Unsure exactly what they were dealing with, authorities sealed off the apartment with yellow crime scene tape and biohazard stickers and launched an investigation.
Sunday evening, investigators from the township police department and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office entered the apartment wearing protective suits and masks. Volunteer firefighters from Lawrenceville Fire Co. provided lights and helped to decontaminate the investigators after they exited the apartment.
A section of the parking lot in front of the building was shut down to traffic during the search due to the presence of multiple police vehicles and a fire engine.
After it was determined that the contents of the apartment were not a hazard to neighbors, permission was given for the elderly woman’s family to reenter the unit and begin cleaning up, officials said.
Township health and housing officials are being consulted as part of the investigation, which is ongoing, officials added.