Authorities have released the name of the man who died early Saturday morning after an apparent meth lab explosion inside his Norton apartment.
According to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, 38-year-old Edward Rooney died hours after fleeing from his apartment on Faith Way following the explosion.
Norton police and fire responded to a reported explosion around 12:53 a.m. They found an apartment empty and damaged from what appeared to be an explosion associated with a meth lab operation, authorities said. There was no fire inside when crews arrived, and firefighters could not find a victim.
Rooney apparently drove away before crews arrived, according to Norton police.
Hours later, residents at a home on Pike Avenue in Attleboro called 911 after they were woken by Rooney yelling for medical attention outside, according to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office.
Rooney was taken to Sturdy Hospital by the Attleboro Fire Department where he was later pronounced dead.
"I looked out the window, I'm like, what the hell, thought it was a car accident," said an Attleboro resident who took a photo of what was happening. "I'm not really happy about it, we called the police to try and get some information."
Investigators said Saturday night it appears the meth lab was in the bathroom of the apartment, and that the force of explosion blew the "bathroom door off its hinges."
Authorities believe Rooney's mother was in the apartment sleeping at the time. She was not injured.
"They're lucky, it could have been so much worse. It could have taken out that whole building, and killed all those wonderful people," one woman said of the incident. "To err is human, just I think what we need is to all pray and hope that this doesn't keep happening, and that people will wise up and realize how dangerous that whole realm is, it's just so scary."
Residents of the apartment building located at 3 Faith Way were evacuated to a local community center while authorities processed the scene.
Nearby resident Marshall Martin, who has lived around the corner for about 20 years, said he hadn't heard anything that morning but wasn't surprised by the news.
“Because I’ve heard of other things that have happened over there in the past," Martin said.
No one else was reported hurt in the incident.
The investigation continues but no one else is expected to face any charges.