UPDATED: Man Injured in Meth Lab Explosion - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

UPDATED: Man Injured in Meth Lab Explosion

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It's a quiet home. That is what neighbors tell News13 about the house on West 22nd plaza that Douglas Moates lived in.

But, Moates has anything but a quiet history. He was released less than a year ago from the Walton County Correctional Institute for possession and intent to distribute a chemical substance and the list doesn't end there.

The home wasn't quiet last night after an explosion inside the residence.

When police responded to the neighborhood a crowd was gathering outside this home where Moates was eventually found.

"At that point in time it was determined he had some significant burns and medical personnel responded," said Panama City Acting Chief of Police Scott Ervin. " To my knowledge he was also transported to a burn center in Georgia."

Moates sustained burns to the upper half of his body and his face. After learning of the extent of his injuries Investigators say that's when they found out he was attempting to manufacture meth at his residence on West 22nd Plaza.

"We responded to the address," said Chief Ervin. "Once we got on scene we quickly realized the chemical smell and the likelihood that that could be present."

Police say Moates had left the home to seek help after the cooking vessel exploded. Outside the residence were remnants of baking soda where friends had tried to help him.

"I know it's still under investigation,' said Chief Ervin. "Once they figure out who all may or may not have been there, if they were additional people, and if they were involved in this process there could potentially be other charges.

"Medical staff said he probably would not have survived his injuries if he had not have been located when he had."

Acting Chief Ervin also says charges will be placed where appropriate, but because of the extent of Moates' injuries it could take some time."



The Panama City Police Department is investigating an incident where a subject received injuries from his attempts to manufacture methamphetamine (meth).

The Panama City Police Department first received a 911 call from a pay phone on January 13, 2012, at approximately 8:30 pm. The caller gave a general area of 22nd and Michigan Avenue where an injured person was burned by a meth lab.

Officers and investigators who responded to the area located a residence near 3707 W. 22nd Court where people were gathered outside. The persons at the residence first denied any knowledge of someone being injured. Through the investigators persistence in the possibility of someone being injured, the persons eventually allowed officers and investigators inside the residence to look for the injured person.

The injured person was located within that residence hiding in a bedroom. He was identified as Douglas J. Moates, 32 years of age. Moates was transported to a local hospital with severe chemicals burns over most of his upper body including his face and was having difficulty breathing.

Investigators learned that Moates was attempting to manufacture meth in the bathroom of his residence located across the street at 3702 W. 22nd Plaza when the cooking vessel exploded. Moates exited the residence seeking help for his chemical burns from neighbors. The neighbors called friends and attempted to aid Moates, however did not contact emergency medical personal or the police.

Moates was admitted into the hospital and will be transported to a burn center in Georgia for his injuries. Medical staff indicated that if Moates went much longer without proper medical care, he would possibly not have survived his injuries.


A man was seriously injured in a meth lab explosion Sunday night.

According to the Panama City Police Department, Douglas J. Moates was injured in an explosion at 3702 W. 22nd Place Sunday night.

The incident happened around 10 p.m. Sunday night. Following the explosion, Moates sought help from his neighbors who attempted to hide him from police. He didn't go to a local hospital until an hour after the explosion.

Lt. Robert Luther said that hospital officials told him that if Moates had come to the hospital an hour later, he would have died from his injuries. Moates was transferred to a burn center in Georgia with severe burns over most of the upper portion of his body.

Charges are pending.