SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The Planet Fitness near 23 Mile Road and Van Dyke was evacuated Friday after a man who was burned in an apparent meth lab fire ran inside to take a shower, police said.
Officials believe the man had a meth lab at his home in the 8000 block of Wiloray Avenue in Shelby Township. The meth lab caused a fire at the home, and the man was severely burned. He drove more than a mile to Planet Fitness so he could take a shower, police said.
"This individual we believe was in the process of cooking methamphetamines. The explosion is a result of that. He lit himself on fire," Deputy Chief Mark Coil said.
"All I basically saw was a guy running in with no shirt, burns, socks and a pair of gym shorts," a witness said. "Something didn't look right. Then we heard him screaming and everybody started running around. (He was) just in pain. You know, burns. I'd be screaming too."
Police responded to the burning home at 3:41 p.m. and saw the man fleeing the area. They realized he had started the fire and followed him to Planet Fitness, where he was taken into custody.
The man, who suffered severe burns from his arms and chest to his neck, was rushed to a hospital by ambulance. Officials wanted to airlift him to a hospital, but the helicopter wasn't able to fly because of severe weather.
Medical officials said the man is in "very serious condition."
Risk of contamination prompts evacuation
Planet Fitness was evacuated and the surrounding area was roped off due to the toxic nature of meth. Police said the man spread the risk of contamination from his home to the Planet Fitness when he drove to the building and ran inside.
A hazmat team has been called to decontaminate Planet Fitness and the scene on Wiloray Avenue. Residents are asked to stay away from both areas. The man's car is also roped off as officials investigate what chemicals might be inside.
Shelby Township police are continuing to investigate the incident.