After a complaint of loud music in a residential area of Lawrence early Monday, police initially did not find anything but officers saw “a large amount of foot traffic” heading to a home on Springfield Street.
The building had an estimated 100 people inside along with charcoal hookahs and external propane heaters being used, police said.
“You wouldn’t be able to tell looking at it from the outside, that’s the whole point,” Police Chief Roy Vasque told WCVB. “They basically set up the basement like an elaborate club.”
Vasque told WCVB that authorities were concerned about the possibility of Covid-19 infections due to so many people crowding into a small room.
“This could be one of those super spreaders, you know, type of situations that you hear about,” Vasque told WCVB. “So absolutely inappropriate, irresponsible and stupid.”
Police are still investigating along with the city’s fire and inspection departments for possible safety violations due to the hookahs and propane heaters while the city’s Board of Health is investigating possible Covid-19 violations.
Vasque said fines could be levied against the building’s owner for safety violations, including a lack of smoke detectors. The property owner told police that the basement was supposed to be empty and police are still investigating who was running the establishment, WCVB reported.