Four arrested after meth lab explosion

Published 4:17 pm Monday, July 23, 2012

A home off Fourth Avenue North in Clanton was damaged extensively by an explosion over the weekend.

Four people were arrested Saturday after an explosion that was apparently related to a meth lab.

Tonya Faye Ellis, Jeremy Cobb Deavers, Gary Lee Shyrie and Steven Franice Minor–all of Clanton–were placed in the Chilton County Jail and charged with manufacturing a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, according to a Clanton Police Department news release.

Bond had not been set as of Monday afternoon.

The city’s fire department responded to the 1100 block of Fourth Avenue North at about 11 p.m. Saturday. Fire personnel battled a blaze at a residence for about 10 minutes.

“Due to the reported explosions and potential hazards to fire personnel, it took us a few minutes longer than normal to get the fire out,” CFD Chief David Driver said in the release.

Police officers noticed odors consistent with a meth lab and contacted the department’s narcotics detectives. Captain David Clackley, who is certified to collect evidence at meth labs, also responded.

In addition to those arrested, two other subjects fled from the fire, and one reportedly was burned prior to the arrival of the police.

“I have said it before: These individuals are not rocket scientists, and they are essentially making bombs when they put these ‘shake and bake’ meth labs together,” CPD Chief Brian Stilwell said. “That everyone in the home wasn’t killed is a miracle.”

Clanton Police detectives anticipated warrants being signed Monday on the two suspects who fled the scene, according to the release.

“This is one of the many dangers associated with clandestine labs,” Cpl. David Kline said in the release. “Luckily no innocent bystanders were hurt or killed.”