A fire department call helped police discover a potentially explosive methamphetamine lab at 5 Gordon Ave. in Scarborough.

Firefighters responded to reports of a stove fire at the home near Kennedy Road and Sheppard Avenue Tuesday morning and found a 39-year-old man inside with burns on his hands.

They also found what they suspected was a lab designed to produce the street drug methamphetamine.

Meth has to be cooked. The mixture of toxic chemicals used to produce the drug can cause explosions and fires.

"The home could have easily contained, or actually caused, a large explosion, which would have most definitely affected the immediate homes directly north and south of it," said Toronto police Det. Roger Desrochers.

Police had to wait until Wednesday morning to get a search warrant for the home. At that time, the police haz-mat team taped off the home on the quiet residential street.

Burned insulation and a scorched appliance lay on the lawn as police searched the home.

Residents in the neighbourhood said they rarely saw anyone at the home.

"I've got two young kids and I want to take care of my family," said resident Doug English. "This is not appreciated by anybody in this neighbourhood."

Police said the lab appears to have been there for some time.

Police are urging neighbours to be on the lookout for unusual activity in their neighbourhoods, which includes chemical bottles being brought into, or out of, the home.

The man injured in the fire was charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

With files from Tamara Cherry