SYLVESTER -- Jackie Ray Flinchum, 59, of Sylvester was arrested Tuesday afternoon by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations when an investigation into a Christmas Eve explosion at Flinchum's home was revealed to be from a home meth lab.
Flinchum was arrested by GBI agents around 4 p.m. Tuesday and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of tools with intent to commit a crime and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
Lewis said Flinchum was transported to the Worth County Jail by GBI agents.
The meth lab was discovered by authorities when Flinchum's neighbors heard an explosion from the residence at 104 W. Pinson St. and called 911.
According to Sylvester Fire Chief Jody Yarbrough, Flinchum was home when the explosion happened and told authorities that he was cleaning when the explosion happened.
"He told us that a coffee pot and pot on the stove had exploded," he said. "After we started investigating, we became suspicious of illegal activities."
The fire chief said firefighter crews immediately sealed off the area and evacuated neighbors, who were not allowed back in their homes as authorities investigated.
"The investigation revealed the component generally used for the manufacture of methamphetamine," said Lewis.
The GBI agent said Flinchum was badly burned by the explosion and
spent several days in the hospital recovering from burns to his chest and stomach.
Lewis said the meth lab found at Flinchum's residence was not large and the GBI does not suspect Flinchum of distributing meth.
"Most of the small meth labs like that are generally used for personal use," he said.