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Meth lab in hotel explodes

1 severely burned, apprehended

A meth lab explosion at a Warsaw hotel Saturday evening severely burned a man and possibly injured a second man, according to the Warsaw Police Department.

About 5:50 p.m., authorities received a report of smoke coming from a second-story room at the Days Inn at 2575 E. Center St.

Emergency workers arrived to find flames and the aftermath of an explosion in the bathroom of Room 218. The bathroom door had been blown off its hinges, and the ceiling of Room 218 and that of a room next-door had collapsed, police said.

No one was in Room 218, but dispatchers took reports of an injured person running near a shopping center in the area. Officers then found Paul Luna, 36, of Ligonier, with his shoes and pants still smoldering, police said.

Luna had burns to his arms and head, and he was flown to the burn unit at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, police said. His condition was not available, hospital staff said.

Police believe a one-pot meth lab caused the blast, which remains under investigation. The Days Inn was initially evacuated, but guests were eventually allowed to return to their rooms. Four rooms were closed because of the explosion and subsequent fire and water damage.

Luna told authorities that another man was in the room when the blast took place. Police believe James Kern, 22, of Cromwell, was hurt in the explosion, but he has not been found. Anyone who knows Kern’s whereabouts is asked to call Warsaw police at 574-372-9511.

aingersoll@jg.net

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