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Police: Man located after Warsaw meth lab explosion; appears uninjured, uninvolved in incident

A 22-year-old man thought to be involved with Saturday's meth lab explosion at a Warsaw hotel has been located, and is not believed to have been on the scene at the time of the incident, Warsaw police said Sunday.

The man believed to be involved, James Kern, of Cromwell, was found uninjured and is not believed to have been located at the Days Inn at the time of the explosion, police said.

About 5:50 p.m. Saturday, Warsaw police and firefighters were called to the Days Inn at 2575 E. Center St. on a report of smoke coming from a second story room.

Emergency workers arrived to find flames and the aftermath of an explosion in the bathroom of Room 218. The bathroom door had been blown off its hinges, and the ceiling of Room 218 and that of a room next-door had collapsed, police said.

No one was in Room 218, but dispatchers took reports of an injured person running near a shopping center in the area. Officers then found Paul Luna, 36, of Ligonier, with his shoes and pants still smoldering, police said.

Luna had burns to his arms and head, and he was flown to the burn unit at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, police said.

Police said Sunday that a bystander was also injured in the explosion when he attempted to enter the room with a fire extinguisher. He suffered smoke inhalation and was treated at Kosciusko Community Hospital and later released, police said.

Police believe a one-pot meth lab caused the blast, which remains under investigation. The Days Inn was initially evacuated, but guests were eventually allowed to return to their rooms. Four rooms were closed because of the explosion and subsequent fire and water damage.

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