According to Lt. Steve Blevins with the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department, police were notified of the incident after receiving a phone call from Erlanger at Hutcheson, stating that 37-year-old Barry Cook showed up at the Fort Oglethorpe hospital with suspicious-looking burns.
“The incident occurred around 3:15 a.m.,” Blevins said. “The explosion occurred in a travel trailer that was parked in the driveway of the residence, and then the man began banging on the front door of the residence. He woke his family up, and then they attempted to help him.”
Blevins said Cook's parents began cutting his shirt off and trying to remove his clothes, but that he had already suffered second- and third-degree burns to his legs, arms, neck, and face.
Cook went to Erlanger at Hutcheson for initial treatment, but was air-lifted shortly thereafter to a special burn unit in Augusta, Ga., Blevins said.
“Cook was already en route to Augusta when officers arrived at the residence,” Blevins said.
There were several of Cook's family members inside the residence at the time of the explosion, including small children.
“The chemicals from the manufacturing process were near a flame inside the trailer, which caused the flash fire, that quickly went out on its own,” Blevins said. “It was very fortunate that the whole trailer didn't go up in flames and spread to the residence.”
Members of the Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force also responded to the scene.
“Manufacturing materials were visible in the truck that was located near the trailer in the driveway, and Drug Task Force agents were notified,” Blevins said.
Task Force commander Pat Doyle said Cook will face charges after investigation of the case is complete.
“The charges are pending further investigation, but the manufacturing of methamphetamine will be a definite, with also the possibility of arson by manufacturing methamphetamine,” Doyle said.
According to Blevins, Cook hadn't been staying at the residence long.
“From what we gathered from family members, he has been fighting addiction for some time, and his family was trying to help him by letting him stay there in the trailer.”