Police probe explosion at Stow home that burned two

police chief: Contents removed from house 'indicative' of meth production

By Jeremy Nobile | Stow Sentry Published:

Two men were injured by an explosion inside a Stow home Wednesday that officials believe may have resulted from the production of methamphetamine.

"We have some evidence, but we have to connect all the dots," said Stow Police Chief Louis Dirker.

He said materials removed from a portion of a duplex at 1442 Mac Drive were "indicative of a meth lab."

The incident is under investigation and no charges had been filed.

Stow Fire Department Capt. Mark Stone said a call came in just before 8 p.m. Wednesday about an explosion and possible fire at the residence.

Stow and Hudson paramedics each transported one of two victims who were in the house at the time, a 29-year-old Stow resident and a 28-year-old Middlefield resident, to the Akron Children's Hospital Burn Unit for injuries suffered in the explosion.

According to a press release, the Summit County Drug Unit removed a "large quantity" of materials from the residence for evaluation.

Stone said it appeared as if a "fire or explosion" originated in a bathroom.

The explosion blew out two windows in the home. Glass was still strewn about the residence's front yard Thursday morning -- some shards could be seen in a yard across the street.

Jen M. (who did not want her last name used) and Jack Bartley live together in a home next door to the residence. The couple was cleaning up glass from their driveway Thursday morning.

"I was sitting on the couch and I heard this explosion," Jen said, noting Bartley was not home at the time. "My friend was here with me, and we thought somebody hit her car because we heard the glass. It sounded like maybe someone was speeding and hit her car."

Jen said she went outside and saw glass "blown all over the driveway." She then saw one of the men, who she doesn't believe lives there, come outside.

"We asked if he wanted us to call 911, and he said no, (but) we did," she said.

"He was burnt so bad," she added. "He was like a red tomato, and his lips were peeling off. And he had a chunk on his face that was like, you know, blistered."

She said that man had taken off his shirt in the confusion, and "you could see the T-shirt lines."

The man who Jen believes lives at the home then came outside, and Jen asked him what happened.

"He said he was mixing floor chemicals with water because he was doing the neighbor's floor, and it exploded," Jen said. "His hair looked like he was in an electrical outlet, and he had no facial hair, and he usually has a scruffy-looking beard."

Contact this reporter at 330-541-9400, ext 4179 or jnobile@recordpub.com

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