Meth Lab Explodes In Gulf Park Estates; Sends One To The Hospital

JACKSON COUNTY (WLOX) -- Libby Harris lives next door to the MEMA cottage where authorities say a meth-lab exploded Thursday afternoon in Jackson County.

"I heard an explosion and I thought one of the transformers had blown up.  That [a meth lab] would have been the last thing I would have thought about," says Harris.

Narcotics officers say Johnathan Moses and Micah Edwin Turnley were making about $800 worth of meth when the cottage exploded.  Moses was seriously burned and air-lifted to the University of South Alabama's burn center. Turnley was not hurt in the explosion.

The blast blew out three windows while fire damaged the back bedroom and the bathroom, where the meth was being made.  A contracted hazardous waste team was called out to clean up the meth mess.  Authorities say it could have been a lot worse.

"There's families nearby. It's spring break, so children are out," says Narcotics Commander Curtis Spiers.

Authorities say Moses' three children lived in the cottage. They are now with their grandparents.

"I thought he was taking care of the kids.  Tell you the truth, I wanna kill somebody. And I haven't had that feeling in 38 years," father LaVern Moses said.

The children's mother is in prison right now on FEMA fraud charges.  Even though Moses had been living in the cottage, it was actually assigned to his parents Beatrice and LaVern Moses.   Commander Spiers says even though Moses was the only person hurt in the explosion, he says bringing meth into neighborhoods shows how little regard meth-makers have for others.

"They have no concern or regard for the safety of other humans, other people or other property."