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Bank vows to clean up reported meth home

Staff Photo: John Bohn One year later, an alleged meth house where three children died in an explosion, remains boarded and empty.  The home is located at 1197 Spring Mill Drive at the intersection of Five Forks Trickum Road in Lilburn.

Staff Photo: John Bohn One year later, an alleged meth house where three children died in an explosion, remains boarded and empty. The home is located at 1197 Spring Mill Drive at the intersection of Five Forks Trickum Road in Lilburn.

LILBURN -- Neighbors spurned by the condition of a reported meth house where three children died last year should see aesthetic improvements at the Lilburn property soon, officials with the bank that owns the home told the Daily Post this week.

JP Morgan Chase Bank spokesman Greg Hassell said that while his company has not started foreclosure proceedings on the blue two-story at 1197 Spring Mill Drive, they plan to swiftly bring the property up to code.

"We'll have crews out to clean it up as soon as possible," Hassell said.

The neighborhood off Five Forks Trickum Road was jolted Feb. 17 last year when three children -- ages 18 months to 4 -- died from injuries suffered in a flash fire at the home.

Authorities said the home played host to a lab run by methamphetamine traffickers with ties to drug cartels. They pulled 10 pounds of meth from the "super lab" and nearly $200,000 from its walls.

Records show JP Morgan Chase Bank had been cited nine times since the fire. Ordinance violations involved broken windows, stairs, tall weeds and grass, open storage and the fact that the structure is burned. When the company failed to appear in Gwinnett Recorder's Court at two previous hearings, the case was set for trial in absentia on April 5.

Hassell said the bank plans to be represented at future legal proceedings.

After a year, some neighbors were calling for the 1983 two-story, recently appraised at $191,000, to be torn down.

Susan Shenefield, a neighbor who has spearheaded clean-up efforts, said word from the bank comes as welcome news.

"We're cautiously optimistic that this is the beginning of closure for Spring Mill neighbors," Shenefield said Tuesday.

The children's 23-year-old mother, Neibi Brito, remains at the Gwinnett County Jail on murder charges, along with an alleged accomplice; a third suspect charged with murder, Ivan Gonzalez, fled the scene and remains at large.