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Suspected Meth Dealer Accidentally Sets Trailer on Fire as SWAT Team Serves Search Warrant. Cause of Blaze: Meth, Of Course

When 47-year-old Michael Thornborrow watched from his backyard as the SWAT team from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office surrounded his trailer yesterday afternoon, his first thought, apparently, was to run into the trailer, fire up a butane lighter, and smoke a little meth.

Bad idea -- in the process, he set the trailer on fire and forced the very officers present to serve a search warrant at the home to rescue him from the burning trailer.

About 4 p.m. yesterday, the PCSO's SWAT team began to move in on Thornborrow's trailer to serve a search warrant. A suspected meth dealer, authorities believed he was selling the drug out of his home.

Thornborrow was in the backyard when cops got there. PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney tells New Times, Thornborrow saw the officers coming -- he even made eye contact with them. At that point, Gaffney says, Thorborrow ran into the trailer and refused to come out.

Soon after, SWAT officers saw smoke and flames pouring out of the trailer. Still, Thornborrow refused to come out.

This is what happened when cops moved in on Thornborrow's trailer.
This is what happened when cops moved in on Thornborrow's trailer.
Pinal County Sheriff's Office

The flames intensified -- officers were forced to back away from the trailer because of the intense heat. That's when Thornborrow decided he was ready to come out of the burning trailer but was unable to do so on his own.

He called out for help and officers were able to pull him from the flames uninjured.

After being rescued, Thornborrow told police he was in the trailer smoking meth with a butane lighter, which caused the blaze.

Thornborrow's was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Facility on one count of arson of an occupied structure.

As for any meth that may have been in the trailer, Gaffney says, "I would imagine he either smoked it, disposed of it, or it burned up." 


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