NORTON (CBS) — A 38-year-old man died after an explosion in Norton early Saturday. The explosion was likely caused by a meth lab, police said.
Officers responded to Faith Way around 1 a.m. and found a damaged apartment but no fire. While the entire building was evacuated, police could not find anyone in the damaged unit. Police said Edward Rooney, who lived in the damaged unit, had already left the scene.
“Shortly thereafter, Attleboro Police and Fire personnel responded to a residence on Pike Avenue in Attleboro due to a 911 call for a male who was experiencing medical issues. According to the residents of the home on Pike Avenue, they were awoken in the middle of the night by a man screaming for help outside. They allowed Mr. Rooney inside the mudroom of their home, where he collapsed moments later,” the Bristol District Attorney’s office said.
Rooney was transported to Sturdy Hospital where he later died.
No other injuries were reported. Residents were able to return to their apartment Saturday afternoon.
Neighbor Matthew Picket said the explosion sounded muffled.
“I heard the noise. That woke me up, and then you could hear the fire alarm going off,” he said. “These apartments have been historically riddled with this kind of trouble.”
A woman who said she knew the man and his family but did not want to be identified said she hopes that this doesn’t keep happening and that people will realize how dangerous meth is.
“I’ve talked to him as he takes out the trash over 100 times and he was so nice,” she said. “Such a nice guy. He seemed to be getting his life back together. We’ll pull together as a community and maybe this will make us stronger in the long run.