A Gainesville man with burned, peeling skin told witnesses there was no fire Thursday night, officials said.
That was before police found a meth lab in his home, Gainesville Police said.
The man, who is in his late 30’s, walked out of his home, located on Northwest 39th Avenue, at about 11:30 p.m. with “obvious burns to his face, chest, arms, and hands,” GPD spokesperson Officer Ben Tobias wrote in an email. The man’s name has not been released because an investigation is ongoing, and he has not yet been been charged with a crime, Tobias said.
Police, Gainesville Fire Rescue and the GFR Hazardous Materials Team arrived at the home after several witnesses saw the man’s house on fire, Tobias said. The man told police there was a grease fire and he was fine, initially refusing medical help.
“Once (police officers) pointed out that his skin was peeling off of his upper body, he agreed to go to (UF Health Shands Hospital),” Tobias said.
Inside the house, the GFR Hazmat team confirmed the resident had been cooking meth in a two-liter bottle, Tobias said.
The Gainesville and Alachua County Drug Task Force is currently investigating the incident.
Tobias said the man survived his injuries but is in the hospital’s intensive care unit.