Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Public safety

Methamphetamine operation blamed in Brandon explosion

BRANDON — Deputies say a Brandon barn that exploded Thursday was a methamphetamine lab.

The man burned in the explosion, Michael Barnes, 40, is in serious condition and is expected to survive, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Authorities got a 911 call about the explosion at about 4 p.m. Thursday. When they arrived, they found Barnes. He had critical burns and was flown to Tampa General Hospital.

Deputies in hazardous materials suits went into the barn and verified the explosion involved a methamphetamine lab, according to the sheriff's office.

Barnes does not face criminal charges. He has previously been arrested in Hillsborough on charges including robbery, burglary, battery, possession of cannabis and trespassing.

The investigation is ongoing.

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