Lake Worth vehicle fire may be tied to meth-making technique

Posted Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Authorities were investigating a report that chemicals used to produce methamphetamine may have exploded and set a car on fire Wednesday night in Lake Worth, burning five people, a Tarrant County official said Thursday.

Tarrant County Narcotics Unit investigators received information that one of the car’s occupants was in the back seat shaking a 2-liter bottle containing the toxic ingredients that could make meth, Herschel Tebay, commander of the unit, said.

“We have samples that we’re testing,” Tebay said in a phone interview. He declined to provide more information.

The four-door, 2003 Ford Taurus caught fire about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday as it was stopped at a traffic light at Northwest Loop 820 and Azle Avenue, authorities said.

Witnesses said the occupants, four men and a woman, were on fire when they jumped out, authorities said. They were taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. Their names and conditions could not be learned on Thursday.

“Witnesses have told us that it just burst into flames,” Lake Worth Fire Marshal Mike Voorhies said. “It remains under investigation.”

Most methamphetamine comes from big labs in Mexico, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. But there is a type of small-scale meth production called “shake and bake” that doesn’t require a heat source, just some pseudoephedrine from over-the-counter cold pills, a two-liter soda bottle and household chemicals, which are shaken together, according to the DEA website.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763 Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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