No charges filed in suspected meth fire in Lake Worth

Posted Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Neither drug nor arson charges will be filed against against five people seriously burned in an August car fire in Lake Worth, a case that authorities suspected was sparked by a mobile methamphetamine lab.

Evidence of chemicals or drugs was destroyed by the blaze, said Lake Worth fire marshal Mike Voorhies on Thursday.

“We sent in samples, but it wasn’t enough to indicate what was in the car,” Voorhies said.

Voorhies said investigators have determined that the fire was not caused by electrical or mechanical problems in the car.

“Some type of chemicals created a flash fire in the back seat of the car,” Voorhies said.

Agents with the Tarrant County Narcotics Unit received information that on Aug. 28, one of the car’s occupants was in a back seat shaking a 2-liter bottle containing the toxic ingredients that could make meth, officials said.

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

Witnesses said the occupants, four men and a woman, were on fire when they jumped out, authorities said.

“They’re lucky that we didn’t come up with enough evidence,” said Lake Worth police officer Don Price, a department spokesman.

The four men and a woman were seriously burned in the fire and were taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. Two backseat passengers _ a man and a woman_ remained in the intensive care burn unit at the Dallas hospital on Thursday, said commander Herschel Tebay of the Tarrant County Narcotics Unit.

While the Lake Worth case indicates that the shake-and-bake method has apparently made its way to North Texas, local drug enforcement officials say the portable process is much more popular in Midwestern and Southern states.

North Texas users still get most of their meth, which provides users with a rush of energy and alertness, from Mexico, authorities say.

Shake-and-bake meth is made by combining unstable ingredients in a 2-liter soda bottle and shaking it. But one tiny mistake can create an explosion.

This reports contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

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

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