Man hospitalized after meth lab explosion inside Gainesville home, police say

Photo: Gainesville-Fire Rescue.

Authorities say a meth lab explosion inside a Gainesville home sent a man to the hospital with severe burns Thursday night.

Gainesville Fire-Rescue and Gainesville Police responded to the house at 110 NW 39th Ave. around 10:40 p.m. after several people called 911 to report the house was on fire. Firefighters say there was light smoke but no fire when they arrived.

Officer Ben Tobias said multiple witnesses told police the sole occupant of the house, a man in his late 30s, exited the house with burns to his face, chest, arms and hands. He reportedly told police and paramedics that it was a grease fire, he was fine and didn't need medical help. But when an officer pointed out that his skin was peeling off of his upper body, the man agreed to go to the hospital, Tobias said.

Tobias said Gainesville Fire-Rescue's Hazmat team entered the house and confirmed the man was cooking meth in a 2-liter bottle. Tobias said the man is in the ICU but is expected to survive.

He said the Gainesville/Alachua County Drug Task Force is investigating.

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