A Norton man is dead and a multifamily home was evacuated after a meth lab exploded in one of the units, according to police.
Officials said Norton police and firefighters responded at 12:53 a.m. Saturday to an apartment building at 3 Faith Way for a report of an explosion.
Upon arrival, emergency personnel found an empty unit with damage from what appeared to be an explosion from a meth lab operation. First responders found no fire in the residence.
“I heard something, so I looked out my window and there were just cops everywhere,” said Nicholas Dorrance, who lives nearby. “We didn’t know what was going on.”
Authorities believed the resident had fled the scene before police and firefighters arrived. Police then notified neighboring towns and warned authorities there to look out for the resident’s vehicle. They also checked with area hospitals to see if the resident was there.
Shortly afterward, Attleboro police and firefighters received a 911 call for a man experiencing medical issues at a home on Pike Avenue in Attleboro. This man was the resident of the Faith Way housing unit where the explosion occurred, officials said.
The man was transported by the Attleboro Fire Department to Sturdy Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office identified the victim as 38-year-old Edward Rooney.
“He was so nice, such a nice guy,” said a friend of Rooney’s mother. “He seemed to be getting his life back together and I was so hopeful for him.”
All residents in the multifamily home on Faith Way were evacuated to a nearby community center.
Crews were at the scene mitigating additional chemicals and residue early Saturday morning. No one else was injured in the explosion.
Construction crews were boarding up windows at the home where the explosion occurred at about 10:30 a.m.
Norton police officers and detectives were assisted by the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad, the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal’s Office, the MSP Clandestine Lab Enforcement Unit, MSP Crime Scene Services and state police detectives assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.youtub