May 5, 2005-- Posted at 11:24 p.m. CDT, updated at 7:22 a.m. CDT on 5/6, updated at 9:06 a.m. CDT
Jonesboro-- Two Region 8 men were severely burned in a fire Thursday evening in Lawrence County. A metal storage/shop buildling behind a residence on Highway 91, about six miles north of Egypt, caught fire around 7:00 p.m. The Bono Fire Department told K8 News two "badly burned" men were taken to St. Bernard's Medical Center of Jonesboro with burns over about half of their bodies.
Authorities are looking into the possibility that the fire may have been related to the manufacture of methamphetamine, but fire department officials said they did not have any evidence to confirm or deny that possibility. Arkansas State Police troopers did respond to the scene and gathered evidence. Lawrence County Sheriff Dan Ellison told K8 News this morning that authorities did find evidence that the victims "were dealing with anhydrous ammonia," which is a key ingredient used in the process to cook meth.
Glendon Williams lives next door and says he heard a loud explosion just before the building burst into flames. "Well, it was so loud, it was like a pipeline blew up," said Williams.
The victims have been identified as 52-year-old Steve Pierce, who lives at the residence, and Timothy Parsons of Pocahontas. Both men have been airlifted to the burn center at Arkansas Childrens Hospital in Little Rock.