NICEVILLE — A 47-year-old man was arrested at the scene of the fatal Kelly Road home explosion Saturday evening.
Michael Joseph Ryan was inside 107 Kelly Road when a fire erupted in the bathroom, causing significant burns to the other occupant of the home, Jeremy Noah Taylor.
Authorities suspect that a meth lab sparked an explosion at this Kelly Road home in Niceville on Saturday. One man died and another was arrested.
Ryan was forcibly removed from his home as it was being engulfed with flames, according to his Niceville Police arrest report. He was then detained pending an investigation of the explosion.
Though officials have not confirmed what caused the explosion, officers refer to the crime as an “alleged methamphetamine lab” explosion in Ryan’s arrest report.
First responders arrived at the home at about 8:20 p.m. to find Taylor, who was in the bathroom when the explosion occurred, alert and conscious, according to Battalion Chief Ken Filson with the Niceville Fire Department.
He suffered severe burns on his face, neck, chest and arms, Filson said. Taylor was decontaminated at the scene and taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
According to Filson, the fire started in the downstairs bathroom and spread to the upstairs apartment, making the home not livable.
The two-story apartment building sustained about $75,000 in damages, according to state fire marshal’s office spokeswoman Deborah Jamison.
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, Jamison said.
Niceville Fire, Valparaiso Fire, East Niceville Fire, North Bay Fire, Okaloosa County Drug Task Force, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Okaloosa County EMS and the state fire marshal’s office responded to the call.
Neighbors told officers Ryan threatened to kill them for calling police, the report states. At the time of the explosion, there were three children in the apartment above the unit.
During Ryan’s detainment, he made several attempts to leave the scene and fought with officers, injuring one.
He was charged with resisting an officer with violence, aggravated assault and resisting an officer without violence, the report states.