THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4)- A meth lab inside a motel in Thornton exploded, leaving the suspect with serious burns over much of his body.

The meth lab exploded at the Sleep Inn near 120th and Grant late Tuesday.

Police said the blast was from what’s called the “one pot” cook method for making the drug. It’s dangerous and highly explosive.

The explosion left shards of glass everywhere and a motel filled with frightened guests.

“All of a sudden, we heard a large boom, a real loud boom!,” said witness Aaron Jaro.

The motel was nearly half full, with 50 people, including three children.

“You wouldn’t expect somebody to have a meth lab in there. It’s crazy,” said witness Sean Morris. “We all could have been seriously hurt.”

“It blew up on him,” said North Metro Task Force Commander Jerry Peters. “His arms were severely burned, his face is severely burned.”

Police said the suspect, Thomas Kennedy, is from Arkansas. He’s recovering from severe injuries in University Hospital.

“He was burned all over his body, carrying items out to his truck from the room below,” said Peters. “He was taking substantial steps to conceal the crimes he was doing inside the hotel room.”

Federal money used to cover cleanup costs of meth labs has run out. Police agencies across Colorado said it is a real problem with meth labs making a come back. Property owners will be stuck with the cleanup costs.

Police said they are seeing more meth labs across the state because criminals are finding loopholes to get the cold medicine they need to make meth.


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