10tv.com  [ View Original Article ]

LANCASTER, Ohio – Police said a meth lab exploded on Friday night and left the man cooking the illegal drug in critical condition.

The explosion happened at the Lancaster Club Apartments, located at 180 Sells Rd., 10TV News reported.

Neighbors and witnesses said they were in disbelief.

“It shook the house, it shook our apartment,” neighbor Justin Bell-Share said. “I could feel it through the walls.”

“It just scared me. I didn’t know what to expect,” said Jessica Bell-Share, Justin’s wife. “And the smell was just nasty…It didn’t smell like a regular fire.”

The Bell-Shares were jolted into action Friday night. They grabbed pots and pans and threw water on the fire, 10TV’s Danielle Elias reported.

The couple said their biggest fear was the safety of their young children.

“It’s hard. I’ve actually been an emotional wreck all day, I just can’t believe it,” Jessica Bell-Share said. “I want the best for my children. I want them to be able to be safe, to come outside and be able to play and not worry about the apartment outside exploding.”

Emergency crews responded to the explosion and airlifted Michael Phillips, 31, to The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus.

Lancaster firefighter Jeremy Kraner said he saw the remnants of the meth lab inside the apartment, including batteries, sudafed and the smell of ether.

“Well, you have the aerosols involved with it and if they use the anhydrous, that’s a respiratory hazard, big time,” Kraner said. “So, you have all those chemicals together at one time. That’s pretty dangerous.”

Kraner said the children were lucky to get out with the family before getting hurt.

Phillips remained in critical condition Sunday morning, with injuries to his face, torso and arms, Elias reported.

Police did not immediately file charges.