Explosion levels home while police serve warrant for alleged meth lab

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SHERIDAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A home with an alleged methamphetamine lab inside exploded early Wednesday morning, leaving a leveled lot of debris and damaging neighboring homes.

It happened on 96th Street near Maple Island Road just before 12:30 A.M. Wednesday. At the time of explosion, Michigan State Police Lieutenant Jeff White said fully uniformed troopers, in conjunction with the Central Michigan Enforcement Team and Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department, were trying to serve a search warrant for a suspect inside the home, believed to be cooking meth.

White told FOX 17 troopers were about 50 yards from the home when it exploded, after trying to make contact with the suspect who would not come outside.

Neighbors’ lawns are littered with shards of glass, like LaVerne and Dolores Houston’s property, who have lived there for 59 years. They said Tuesday night they were up late as usual when they heard the loud blast.

"I got into the kitchen, then boom! Glass was flying and things shattered,” said LaVerne.

Inside their home are broken collectibles, windows shattered including the window above their bed, and their clock stopped marking the time of the explosion.

"It's a good thing I stay up and watch the news, otherwise I'd have been in bed when that happened,” said LaVerne. “It's unbelievable."

White said troopers found the suspect lying conscious and able to speak in the debris field of the leveled home.

"It was quite an explosion,” said White. "(This) is a perfect example of how dangerous the production methods are and can be in methamphetamine use."

White told FOX 17 that meth labs are no more common in Newaygo County than compared across West Michigan, and called it an ongoing problem.

"The Central Michigan Enforcement Team is actively investigating other methamphetamine cases,” said White. “It's a very dangerous drug, it's a very production process, and it certainly is at the top of our priority list in our drug investigations."

The MSP Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the explosion.

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