A man allegedly involved in a meth lab operation inside a Norton apartment has died in the hours after a reported explosion early Saturday morning.
Norton police and fire responded to a reported explosion at 3 Faith Way around 12:53 a.m. They found an apartment empty and damaged from what appeared to be an explosion associated with a meth lab operation, authorities said. There was no fire inside when crews arrived, and firefighters could not find a victim.
The resident, said to be in his 30s, had apparently left before crews arrived, according to Norton police.
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Some five miles away, the man later turned up Saturday morning in Attleboro, where authorities responded to a 911 call of a man experiencing medical issues.
The man was brought to Sturdy Hospital by the Attleboro Fire Department where he was later pronounced dead.
"I looked out the window, I'm like, what the hell, thought it was a car accident," said an Attleboro resident who took a photo of what was happening. "I'm not really happy about it, we called the police to try and get some information."
Investigators said Saturday night it appears the meth lab was in the bathroom of the apartment, and that the force of explosion blew the "bathroom door off its hinges."
Authorities believe the man's mom was in the apartment sleeping at the time. She was not injured.
"They're lucky, it could have been so much worse. It could have taken out that whole building, and killed all those wonderful people," one woman said of the incident. "To err is human, just I think what we need is to all pray and hope that this doesn't keep happening, and that people will wise up and realize how dangerous that whole realm is, it's just so scary."
Residents of the apartment building located at 3 Faith Way were evacuated to a local community center while authorities processed the scene.
Nearby resident Marshall Martin, who has lived around the corner for about 20 years, said he hadn't heard anything that morning but wasn't surprised by the news.
“Because I’ve heard of other things that have happened over there in the past," Martin said.
No one else was reported hurt in the incident.
The identity of the victim has not been released.
The investigation continues but no one else is expected to face any charges.