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A 54-year-old Homosassa man was being treated at a burn unit Friday at Shands Hospital in Gainesville after allegedly setting himself alight while manufacturing methamphetamines, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.
Tactical Unit Sgt. John Novy said the man, who could not be identified because he’s not been formally arrested yet and is in the hospital, suffered severe burns to his lower extremities.
“Burns from chemicals used to make meth tend to be extremely severe,” Novy said.
“He apparently then got in his car and drove himself to the Kangaroo Store on 44 and Rock Crusher and mentioned something about Coleman fuel,” Novy said.
He also reportedly mentioned something about others being at his residence.
Tactical Unit personnel decided to do a well-being check on the home and uncovered what Novy calls “every item used in the manufacture of meth.”
Unit investigators were greeted by the noxious smell of chemicals associated with cooking meth.
Novy said a search of the home revealed five one-pot cooks in the home at 306 W. Minuteman St.
Law enforcement and public safety officials have been sounding the alarm about the fire dangers associated with meth labs, but authorities believe the one-pot — or shake-and-bake — cooking method is an even more combustible cocktail than the traditional method.
The chemicals — which include Coleman fuel, battery shavings, acetone and ephedrine — are mixed in an empty liter drink bottle. The concentration of the chemicals builds up the ether pressure within the sealed container to levels beyond which
the containers were built to withstand, often exploding.
A woman whom authorities consider a person of interest in the case reportedly fled the scene before officials got there. Novy said her name is Brandy Clare Johnson, 21, and said she is also wanted in Hernando and Pasco counties.
Anyone with information about Johnson or the case can call Novy at 352-726-4488.
Contact Chronicle reporter A.B. Sidibe at 352-564-2925 or email@example.com.