Local News

3 burned in Harnett house explosion

Posted June 8, 2008 2:03 p.m. EDT
Updated June 9, 2008 5:39 p.m. EDT

— Three men suffered burns during an explosion shortly after midnight Saturday.

A call about the explosion at 1605 Old Stage Road, about 2 miles west of Buies Creek, came in at 12:28 a.m., said Maj. Gary McNeill, spokesman for the Harnett County Sheriff's Office.

The explosion sparked a fire, but it was extinguished within an hour.

Three men sustained second- and third-degree burns, McNeill said.

Emergency workers found Dale Beasley, 40, of 1605 Old Stage Road, with burns to his body at a neighbor's house. Beasley was taken to Betsy Johnston Hospital.

Robert Stewart, 24, of Dunn, and Christopher Tart, 33, of Dunn, were taken from the house with burns on their body by a friend. They were taken to Betsy Johnston Hospital.

All three men were later transferred to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem in critical condition.

Although a neighbor said a man running from the home said his propane tank had exploded, authorities said a tank found at the scene wasn't seriously damaged.

Neighbors said fire crews ordered them to stay inside their homes after the explosion, said they wonder whether a methamphetamine lab was to blame. Authorities wouldn't say whether they're looking into that possibility.

The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Harnett County Sheriff's Office and fire marshal in the investigation.