A Cherokee County man was in critical condition Friday in a Tulsa hospital after being severely burned in a methamphetamine lab fire, authorities said.

Robert Cavilee, 20, suffered burns over a large portion of his body. Cherokee County sheriff’s investigators said Cavilee was manufacturing methamphetamine using the “shake and bake” method when a bottle caught fire.

Betty Webb and Michael Simmons – Cavilee’s mother and stepfather according to investigators – were arrested and booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center for endeavoring to manufacture a controlled drug and unlawful use of a police radio, or scanner.

Authorities said Webb was allegedly purchasing pseudoephedrine in Tahlequah for Cavilee to make methamphetamine. They also said they have been to the residence for illegal drug activity in the past.

Cavilee was initially taken to Tahlequah City Hospital, and later transferred to the Tulsa hospital for treatment of his burns. Sheriff’s Sgt. Tommy Moore and Deputy Dexter Scott were among the first to respond to the call. The sheriff’s office was notified because emergency personnel smelled what they believed to be chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine while treating Cavilee.

Webb gave deputies permission to search the residence. Lithium batteries, pseudoephedrine, Drano, lye, filters and other items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine were found inside the residence. Some items had been tossed outside before deputies arrived.


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