TOP STORY >> Meth blaze endangers child, guts home
By JEFFREY SMITH
Leader staff writer
A 9-year-old girl along with her parents and another person escaped a fiery meth lab explosion Saturday morning at a Sunnyside home in Jacksonville.
James Dye and Misty Cook of 212 E. Hickory St. told police that Amanda Randall, 29, Donald Randall II, 38, and their 9-year-old daughter came to their home after the Randall’s house at 132 Galloway Circle caught fire at 1:40 a.m. Cook is Amanda Randall’s cousin.
According to the police report, Dye said the Randalls banged on the door and screamed that their house blew up. Amanda Randall said she and her daughter were sleeping on the couch in the living room while Donald Randall and Deborah Christian, 37, of 126 Southeastern Ave. were in the back bedroom allegedly making methamphetamine using the “shake-and-bake” method.
Cook said she was asleep and was awakened by her children, who said there was someone knocking on the door. Amanda Randall told Cook that she and her daughter were asleep in the living room. She heard a loud noise, woke up and saw that the house was on fire.
Randall jumped out the window with her daughter and they ran to 212 E. Hickory St. About 10 minutes later, Donald Randall fell through cook’s front door. He had burns on both arms and on his face. Dye drove Donald Randall to the North Metro Medical Center’s emergency room for treatment of his burns.
Cook said Amanda Randall was burned, but did not think their daughter had any injuries. Amanda Randall’s mother arrived to pick up Amanda and her daughter.
Deborah Christian did not go to 212 E. Hickory St. but did seek medical help. The extent of her injuries were not disclosed.
Amanda Randall later told police that she was at the home when the ingredients to make methamphetamine were brought into the house. She watched while the drug was being made.
Randall’s daughter was allegedly present during the meth manufacturing and the two left after the fire started without notifying the authorities.
Randall did not seek medical attention for her injuries or to have her daughter examined.
Police spoke with Jimmy Williams, who said his daughter, Amanda, Donald Randall and their two children lived at 132 Galloway Circle. Williams received a phone call from a blocked caller that said his daughter’s house had blown up from a meth lab.
Williams wanted to know where his daughter and grandchildren were. Police told Williams that Donald Randall had been taken to the hospital for burns. They were unsure where his daughter and granddaughter were. Police took Williams to his grandson, who had been staying at a neighbor’s house.
Williams was allowed custody of his grandson.
A neighbor told police she had a video camera pointed toward the street and at the home on 132 Galloway Circle. The neighbor was listening to the audio and said her camera does not record. She heard glass break and a whooshing sound. Then a woman started yelling, “Get it out, get it out.”
The neighbor walked outside and saw the house was on fire. People inside the home were running out. Another neighbor told police he was lying on his couch when he heard a boom.
The neighbor ran outside and saw a woman running around in the front yard. She was yelling, “I got to go” over and over. She then jumped in a white extended-cab truck and left the area.
While police were gathering information from neighbors, a firefighter handed an officer a cell phone that was found in the road in front of the burning house. A few minutes later the cell phone rang. Police answered the phone to find out who was the owner of the phone. A woman who called said the phone belonged to Christian.
The damaged house had an appraised value of $11,144. The heat from the fire melted the siding on a home at 134 Galloway Circle. Damage on that house was estimated to be $1,000.
Amanda Randall was charged as an accomplice for manufacturing a controlled substance, methamphetamine, exposing a child to a chemical substance, methamphetamine, and arson. Bond was set at $32,500.
She had a warrant out from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office for a probation violation for hot checks.
Donald Randall was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, methamphetamine; exposing a child to a chemical substance, methamphetamine, and arson. Bond was set at $32,500.
No other arrests have been made.