DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — William Harrison, a former Vietnam Veteran and former fertilizing company employee, and his 69-year-old neighbor Durey Robert Kent, were in the shed behind Harrison’s home mixing chemicals that would be used to clean out the foliage of both of their ponds.

“He (Harrison) was making devices, more or less a homemade bomb, to drop in the ponds to clear the bottom out, and at some point, it unexpectedly detonated and killed Mr. Harrison,” Sheriff Valenza said.

Sheriff Valenza said the chemicals were not illegal but highly explosive, which created a hazardous situation — it set off three to four explosions in the shed behind the home on Quail Drive.

“The ATF, Dothan Bomb team, and ALEA all responded and made the area around the shed safe,” He said. “The building was a total blaze at the time; you couldn’t get to it, and eventually, the fire was put out.”

Kent, Harrison’s neighbor, survived, but he was severely burned outside the shed during the first explosion that prompted him to go check on his neighbor.

“He rushed up to the door and when he looked in he saw Mr. Harrison, who looked like a shelf was lying on top of him, and then the second detonation occurred, which blew him back, and that was where he was burnt,” Sheriff Valenza said.

Kent was taken to Southeast Health and was immediately flown to mobile, and he’s currently at the burn center in Atlanta battling severe injuries.

Sheriff Valenza said these two men were working with farm chemicals, and it’s an experiment that went wrong quickly and hurriedly.

He says that hearing about this tragedy should serve as a wake-up call to any other people who may try to take it under their own initiative to make any homemade substances.

“I recommend don’t fool with it a lot of times you don’t get a second chance,” He added.

Sheriff Valenza said at this time, they are waiting on Harrison’s autopsy but he does not believe there will be any charges, but they have a few more interviews to conduct.