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Suspicious explosion in Lealman sends one to the hospital

Police investigate the scene at 5205 Haines Road in Lealman after an explosion early Sunday. Mike Macleod, 27, suffered injuries while checking on a friend’s home.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Police investigate the scene at 5205 Haines Road in Lealman after an explosion early Sunday. Mike Macleod, 27, suffered injuries while checking on a friend’s home.

LEALMAN — A man was injured in an explosion early Sunday morning that arson investigators are examining.

Mike J. Macleod, 27, suffered burns from the blast at 5205 Haines Road and was transported to a hospital, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

The property is home to a vacant business with a second-story apartment. The renter, Larry F. Anderson, was out of town. Detectives said his friend, Macleod, had been checking on the apartment periodically.

Here's what happened Sunday, according to the Sheriff's Office:

At 5:41 a.m., Macleod went to the apartment to check on it. As he opened the door, he was met by an instant explosion.

Macleod ran to a gas station and called for help. He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center and then transported to Tampa General Hospital.

He was in critical condition Sunday afternoon, a hospital administrator said.

Anderson, 25, declined comment through his mother, who was contacted by phone in Virginia.

The property owner, Dorian Levy, also declined comment, saying authorities "asked me not to say anything because it's an ongoing investigation."

The Sheriff's Office Arson Unit, which is investigating the fire, hadn't determined the cause or source of the explosion on Sunday.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Lorri Helfand can be reached at lorri@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4155.

Man injured in apartment explosion


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Suspicious explosion in Lealman sends one to the hospital 01/30/11 [Last modified: Monday, January 31, 2011 3:33pm]
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