Cops: Miss. man burned when meth lab ignites

Published 1:35 pm Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A 36-year-old Vancleave man was in critical condition after a small methamphetamine lab caught fire in his lap, said Lt. Curtis Spiers, head of the Jackson County Narcotics Task Force.

Jason Ethan Fortenberry suffered severe burns from the waist down and was flown to the University of South Alabama Medical Center, Spiers said.

He was in critical condition Saturday, two days after firefighters and sheriff’s deputies found him outside his burning truck.

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Spiers said Friday that task force agents found a partly burned ammonia lab in the bed of the truck Thursday, and chemicals used to make the methamphetamine in woods nearby.

He said Fortenberry had a couple of other drug-related arrests was released from jail to enter a drug rehabilitation program.

“The first time we arrested him, we seized that truck and he actually went to the tow yard and stole it back from the tow yard,” said Spiers. “We’ve been looking for that truck.”