Local News

Meth lab explodes in Dudley motel

Posted March 11, 2011

— The front of a Dudley motel blew out early Friday when a methamphetamine lab inside one of the rooms exploded, authorities said.

The explosion occurred at about 4:15 a.m. at the Old Goldwater Motel, 3428 U.S. Highway 117 Alternate. The Mar-Mac Fire Department responded to the motel, but authorities said the building sustained little or no fire damage.

Valentine Morales, who lives at the motel with his family, said the explosion awakened him as he slept on a sofa. He said his first thoughts were for his wife and three children sleeping in the next rooms.

"I'm not scared (for) myself, but I'm scared for my family," Morales said.

Two of the people injured in the blast ran to Jeffrey Aultman's house nearby for help.

"It scared me. I was getting ready to go out the door, and it was bang, bang, bang, and it shook me up," Aultman said, noting that he initially thought the men at his door had been in a vehicle wreck.

Two of the injured drove themselves to Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro, authorities said. Wayne County EMS took two more people to the hospital.

Meth lab in Dudley motel Meth lab explodes in Dudley motel

Three of the four were then airlifted to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. They were identified as Randy Johnson, 27, and Joshua Summerlin, 21, both of Mount Olive, and Regina Ann Rugkit, 28, of Goldsboro.

The fourth person injured in the explosion was identified as Tracy Grady, 41, who lived at the motel. He was taken by ambulance to the Jaycee Burn Center on Friday afternoon.

Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation donned chemical gear to sift through the rubble of the motel room to determine the cause of the explosion. Investigators said some of the materials used to make methamphetamine are highly flammable.

"You have propane vapors that can settle. Propane is heavier than air, so it's going to settle down. Someone not thinking (could) light a cigarette, or space heater or anything of that nature that's red hot could ignite it," said Cpl. Christopher Peedin of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities said they plan to file charges against all four of the injured once they recover.

The damage from the explosion left part of the motel, which is owned by a local minister and was renovated a couple months ago, off-limits Friday evening.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Mar 15, 2011

    kilquian said, “I can only think of ONE religion that openly calls for the death of others but I bet my post would be erased if I name it by name.”

    Ummm...you’ve got some reading to do.

    May I suggest that you start with what Jesus had to say in John 15:6 that has caused many, many people to be executed throughout history? The moderators here often won’t even let me post the passage, and rightly so, because it calls for death of non-followers.

    Beyond this, there are many other similar passages for disobedient children, gays, women, slaves, adulterers, etc. So, read on, brother. Read on.

  • gotsomesense Mar 11, 2011

    hattie, the reason they were doing this at 4 am is because meth can keep you up for days so 4 am, 4 pm, what difference does it make - they loose track of time and what most people think of as a normal schedule...one of my family members was on it and thankfully made it through a drug rehabilitation program and has been clean for 3 years now, but I understand it is not easy to get off of and the relapse rate is very high over the long run.

  • hellorhighwaters Mar 11, 2011

    Not only did they endanger their own lives but all the people that were asleep at that hotel, at 4:00AM in the morning.
    Why do people seem to always do their 'dirt' in the wee-wee hours of the morning?

    Hope they learned something as they were flying through the air after being blown from that hotel room.
    At least they weren't killed; so they do have a second chance at life to do better than this turned out to be.

  • Jenny8 Mar 11, 2011

    G-man wrote:
    "Yet another reason our insurance costs are so high. They should have let the nuts lay there and suffer."
    They almost did, I heard the dispatched call go out and the first couple calls were that someone was banging on neighbors doors and screaming and no one would open their doors for them, then before deputies could arrived two of them drove themselves to the hospital, the other two were walking around dazed when Deputies and EMS finally figured out where the call was. Last I heard 3 were flown to the burn center and the fourth would probably go later tonight.

  • Jenny8 Mar 11, 2011

    Goldwater motel,is a by the week or month, no services, no maid kinda place. I think there have been several big fires there over the years. The fires only cleaned up the place and it was cheaper then an exterminator.All the rooms were gutted for a long time,I didnt realize they had rebuilt any of the rooms. As sad as it is at least there are four less meth-heads not stealing anything not nailed down in dudley for a while.

  • wralfan Mar 11, 2011

    who says we'll be paying hospital bills? they could have health insurance... or all that meth cash!

  • Jenny8 Mar 11, 2011

    "i know randy...17% of his body is burnt and he is in fair condition. they're lucky they didn't die"

    Now the rest of us law abiding folks will be paying their hospital bills and supporting them for the rest of their lives.

  • emeraldangeleyes Mar 11, 2011

    its a shame. they're really lucky they didn't die

  • NoObamaCare Mar 11, 2011

    They truly got a high of their life!

  • davidgnews Mar 11, 2011

    "What about the smell? Did not anyone smell anything?"

    They would have if it hadn't blown up first.