Meth lab explosion catches abandoned house on fire

(WBIR) A meth lab explosion on Friday morning caught an abandoned home on fire in Hamblen County.

A neighbor reported that an abandoned home on the 4000 block of St. Paul Road was on fire shortly after 6 a.m. When firefighters arrived, they quickly determined that a meth lab caused the explosion. Fumes and smoke sickened one firefighter, but Hamblen County Deputy David Stapleton says he was treated on the scene and returned home.

Officials said there are no suspects at this time. The Hamblen County Sheriff's Department and narcotics division along with the Hamblen County Fire Department are cleaning up the toxic fumes, debris and remnants of the lab.

Stapleton says the house was vacant at the time of the explosion. He says that in the past few months the rural county has seen drug users increasingly target vacant or abandoned homes while looking for spots to cook meth.

He says property owners can help by properly boarding up their properties.


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