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Lebanon County apartment fire reportedly stems from meth lab explosion

Brian Gingrich, 57, was found at the rear of the apartment building, hiding under a boat. He was injured in the explosion, which reportedly came from his apartment.
Credit: FOX43

LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. — A fire in a Lebanon apartment building on Sept. 4 was reportedly caused by a methamphetamine lab explosion. 

The Lebanon City Fire Department responded to a fire at 207 E. Cumberland Street that was caused by an explosion of chemicals.

Police suspected a small meth lab had exploded within a single apartment in the building, which caused isolated damage.

Responding officers requested the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Laboratory Response Team respond to the scene to mitigate any chemicals and render the area safe for occupancy.

At the time of arrival, the apartment's resident had reportedly fled and was not on the scene.

Brian Gingrich, 57, was found at the rear of the apartment building, hiding under a boat. The man, who is from Lebanon, was injured as a result of the chemical explosion.

Gingrich was transported to a local hospital, then transferred to another facility to treat his burn injuries. Gingrich is currently recovering from his wounds.

A fireman also received a minor chemical burn on his arm but was not hospitalized.

No other residents within the building were harmed by the explosion. The American Red Cross assisted the displaced residents until the building could be reoccupied. 

An investigation by Lebanon City Police and the Lebanon County Drug Task Force allege that Gingrich was making meth. He has been accused of possessing the components and precursors to make the drug in his apartment. 

Charges are pending Gingrich's recovery and completion of the investigation.

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