• Man charged after meth lab explodes in motel

    By: Kathryn Burcham


    ALBEMARLE, N.C. - Police have charged a Gastonia man after they said his meth lab exploded in a local motel last week.

    SBI agents spent hours cleaning up the meth lab at an Albemarle motel on April 4. The explosion shattered windows and forced an evacuation.

    Officers arrested Jamie Robinson Hill and charged him with one count felony possession/distribute methamphetamine, one count of felony manufacture methamphetamine and one count of felony maintain dwelling. He received a $25,000 secured bond.

    "Police started knocking on the door and said everybody had to be evacuated," motel guest CC told Eyewitness News.

    Police said the explosion happened around 3:30 Friday morning at the Lion Inn on Highway 52 and blew a hole in the Hill's mattress.

    Investigators said Hill suffered minor burns when he tried to extinguish the flames.

    "[We found] what appeared to be meth lab materials; cut lithium batteries, acid, Drano," said Chief William Halliburton.

    Guests were kept out of their rooms for hours.

    "What we were concerned about was the ventilation system," Halliburton said.

    Detectives spent hours interviewing Hill, who declined medical treatment.

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