A 38-year-old Norton man died Saturday morning following a small explosion linked to a meth lab inside his apartment.

Edward Rooney lived in Norton, where the explosion occurred, but he died after fleeing the scene in a vehicle and screaming for help outside a home in Attleboro, authorities said.

Saturday just before 1 a.m., Norton police and fire responded to 3 Faith Way in Norton for a report of an explosion. They discovered damage inside an apartment from what appeared to be an explosion from a meth lab operation. There was no fire in the apartment upon their arrival, and no one was found inside, according to Greg Miliote, spokesman for Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III.

Shortly thereafter, Attleboro police and fire responded to a residence on Pike Avenue in Attleboro following a 911 call for a male who was experiencing medical issues.

Residents of the home told Attleboro police they were awoken in the middle of the night by a man screaming for help outside. They allowed him inside the mudroom of their home, where he collapsed moments later.

The residents immediately called 911 and Rooney was rushed to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, where he was pronounced dead at 2:38 a.m.

Back at the Norton apartment building, all residents were evacuated to a nearby community center.

Norton police officers and detectives were assisted by the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad, the Massachusetts State Fire Marshall's Office, the Massachusetts State Police Clandestine Lab Enforcement Unit, Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services, and Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office.

The investigation remains ongoing and the medical examiner's office will conduct an autopsy.

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