Updated: Monday, 19 Apr 2010, 6:29 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 19 Apr 2010, 2:44 PM EDT
WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) - Police believe chemicals from a meth lab inside a Warsaw home caused an explosion that sent one man to Fort Wayne's St. Joseph Burn Center with critical burns.
Around 7:00 p.m. Sunday, while fire units were en route to 1091 North, County Road 400 East in Warsaw, a man that had been at the residence was taken to the Kosciusko Community Hospital with critical burns.
As Warsaw and Wayne Township Fire Departments battled the engulfed house fire, they found a methamphetamine lab at the residence.
Police determined during the investigation that Charles Lynn Renschler, 31, Warsaw, had arrived and opened an outside door to the residence which caused an explosion of flames and scorched his body.
"The meth lab was actually cooking," said Sergeant Chad Hill with the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department. "They are so volatile. It's probably difficult to predict what a methamphetamine fire would probably do. They're very dangerous in nature by themselves, let alone mixing chemicals and obviously, you put an oxygen mixture in there and something like this just fuels it unfortunately."
Renschler was immediately taken to K.C.H.l by his girlfriend who witnessed the fire explosion. He was later airlifted to Fort Wayne.
Officers said that Raniell Hill, 33, was inside at the time of the fire with her two minor children, but all three escaped uninjured.
Hill was arrested at the scene and preliminarily charged with disorderly conduct during the investigation. She posted bond Monday morning and was released.
Police say drug charges are likely to follow. Officers are sifting through the rubble to gather remnants of the meth lab for evidence. They also found dozens of empty cold packs and empty boxes of cold medicine in a garbage can outside the home.
Child Protective Services were also summoned to the scene to take custody of the two children. According to police, the two children, ages thirteen and seven, have since been released into the custody of their grandmother.
The residence is also owned by Darrell Hill, Raniell's husband, who was not home at the time of the fire. Police say he might also be facing charges.
As of Monday afternoon, Renschler was listed in critical, but stable condition.
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