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Owner of home that exploded denies house was meth lab

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Firefighters and neighbors think a fire at a Nutbush area home that resulted in an explosion was caused by a meth lab. But the owner says it was started by someone he was trying to help.

First responders had just arrived on the scene to put out the flames Wednesday night when it exploded.

Scotts Rhodes is one of the people who was seen running from the fire ball.

"We were already outside, had a hose going around the house," he said.

Thursday morning he showed us the cut on his head from flying glass and the inside of his house. Rhodes says the fire was started by a man who had been staying at the home and was asked to leave.

He says his house began filling up with smoke not long after police escorted the man out.

"When he got up, I'm guessing he put a blanket over the space heater, because you can tell by the way the fire went up in this area right here," Rhodes said.

A fire official at the scene told us they believe someone was cooking meth. And people in the neighborhood say they have long suspected it was a meth house. Rhodes, though, says nothing like that was going on.

"No. We don't make meth. Don't do that."

Rhodes says a friend who was visiting when the house exploded was treated for burns. He says he doesn't have homeowners insurance and will have to start over.

"That's what you get for helping somebody. Like I said, I'll get by. I always do," Rhodes said.

The fire is still under investigation. So far, no one has been charged with anything.

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