Volusia deputies, baby, 2 others injured in suspected meth lab explosion

Fire officials say fire extinguisher used to cook meth

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A Volusia County couple has been arrested after a suspected methamphetamine lab exploded Wednesday. The explosion sent two Volusia County sheriff's deputies, two adults and a baby to the hospital.

The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. at a house in the 1200 block of 10th Street in Daytona Beach. Fire officials say the people inside of the home were suspected of using a fire extinguisher to manufacture the meth, which exploded.

[AUDIO: 911 call released ]

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said George Wiggins, 25, and Laura Wiggins, 23, and an 8-month-old child were in the house at the time of the explosion.

Laura Wiggins and her baby were taken to a hospital for precautionary evaluations, said authorities.

Fire officials said George Wiggins was standing next to the extinguisher when it exploded, burning his eyes and likely blinding him for life.

Two deputies entered the house out of concern for the child and were exposed to a heavy cloud of chemical fumes, officials said.?

Samantha Eckels said the loud boom shook her home and neighborhood. Eckels told Local 6 she walked out of her house to find the mother.

"She walked out with not even an expression on her face at all the baby was just bright red, screaming," Eckels said.


The incident outraged neighbors when they discovered the baby was inside of the home at the time.

"The fact that she brought her back into that house after that happened, I can't imagine how any mother would do that," said Eckels.

Hours later, Eckels said she can't seem to shake the noise she heard next door, but more importantly, what the baby heard within just feet.

"Because she looked scared, I can only imagine what that boom did to her ears or her at all," said Eckels.?

"In a neighborhood like this the smallest amount of chemical gets airborne in the form of a vapor, we'd have problems," said Volusia County Fire Batallion Chief Nicholas Castelli.

Neighbors were told to stay inside of their homes as hazardous materials crews went through the chemicals found inside of the home and rendered safe.

"I was standing outside and I was doing some yard work and just a quick boom," said Derek Bookamer, who lives a block away.

Neighbors said they called the Department of Children and Families as soon as the explosion occurred.

Narcotics agents said George Wiggins and Laura Wiggins were arrested after both admitted to using methamphetamine on a regular basis, deputies said Wednesday night. Both were arrested on charges of manufacture of methamphetamine with a child present, trafficking in methamphetamine and child neglect.

The couple will be booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach and held without bond pending their first court appearance, the Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies said DCF has turned over the care of the baby girl to a family member.