WCTI12.com  [ View Original Article ]

ELM CITY — A 25-year-old man caught fire Sunday in an explosion at his mobile home near Elm City. Authorities said they believe the explosion was related to the production of methamphetamine.

Lucas Benjamin Barrett drove himself to Wilson Medical Center and his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Wilson County Sheriff’s deputies, later assisted by the Wilson County Narcotic Division and State Bureau of Investigation, were dispatched to 5431-A Weaver Road shortly before 1 p.m. to investigate an explosion.

Heavy smoke billowed from a trash can in the backyard of the property, neighbors said, and two men had left the house. One of them, later identified as Barrett, was on fire.

After executing a search warrant, authorities determined that the explosion was “meth lab related,” a Wilson County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said.

A clean-up crew was called in to remove any hazardous material from the home.

Authorities said neighbors had no reason to worry, but Courtney Davis said the explosion put her on edge.

“I’m just shocked because I didn’t hear anything and neither did my parents,” said Courtney Davis.

She said she didn’t know Barrett and never saw him coming or going from his mobile home.

“I walk my dog down that path all the time and I really didn’t know anyone lived there,” she said. “You never see any cars, never see any lights.”