by David Koon
Meth isn't only a dangerous to those who use it, it's also more than a little hazardous to the health of those who make the stuff, as seen in this morning's report from the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office of an apparent meth lab explosion at 4424 Lena Lane near Jacksonville last night around 6:30 p.m. Neighbors said they heard a bang, then the home caught fire as several people inside scattered in four to five cars and on foot — including one who left a 200-foot blood trail that officers followed until it disappeared into nearby woods.
At least two people who police say were inside the house when the explosion happened suffered fairly horrific burns and are being treated at UAMS. A report by a Pulaski County Sheriff Deputy who made contact with the burn victims appears after the jump.
Author: OFFICER ANGELA PALMER-LETT
On 5-15-11, at approximately 1907 hours, I responded to 22311 Highway 107 (Phillips 66) for a burn victim from an area house fire.
I made contact with Paula Chagnon, who stated that her sister, Brenda Kennedy, had showed up unexpectedly at her home with burns. Chagnon advised that Kennedy asked to be taken to the emergency room, and said that "a meth lab blew up," causing her injuries.
Kennedy's most significant injury appeared to be her left arm, where the skin was coming off. I also observed a reddened area on her lower left back. Kennedy's hair was singed on the left side of her head. She seemed to go in and out of consciousness, and was combative at times. Kennedy was gasping and complained of difficulty breathing, at which point I cut her tank top from her body to allow for unrestricted breathing.
MEMS personnel responded and stabilized Kennedy before transporting her to the University
Medical Center (UAMS) for treatment. As I followed along behind the ambulance, I was advised via radio that there would be another burn victim, later identified as Charles Watson, who would be taken to the same hospital.
After arriving at the hospital, I was able to talk with Kennedy, who stated that she wasn't the one doing the "cook," but was just there. She advised that Charles was the one cooking, but that there were "a whole bunch of people" at the house. I asked her if anyone else was injured, but she did not know.
Chagnon (sister) arrived at the hospital and told me that she had spoken with her mother, Jennie Wickliffe, and Wickliffe told her that she saw a dark colored car speeding away from the area of Chagnon's home around the same time that Kennedy unexpectedly showed up there. Chagnon thinks that Kennedy was dropped off by someone in that car.
While I was speaking with Chagnon, Kennedy started mumbling about wanting someone to call "Allen" at 850-5609. Kennedy said "tell Allen that Allen's got his car", and she said something else that could not be deciphered about the car.
The other burn victim, Charles Watson, arrived in an ambulance and was screaming and cursing at the medical staff and UAMS Police Officers. He appeared to have much more severe burns than Kennedy, having both hands, arms, and legs burned. He was put in a trauma room where he was combative, screaming and cursing until medical staff was able to sedate him.
Hospital personnel advised that Watson had been using propane during the "cook". It is unknown how that information was obtained. I took photographs of both subjects. The photos (CD) will be stored in the property room at the PULASKI CTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE.