Death metal guitarist arrested for burglary as ammo explodes inside his burning Northdale home

Hillsborough County

One of the most popular death metal guitarists in the country has been arrested after a Northdale home caught fire with exploding ammunition inside.

The massive fire broke out Monday night at a home on Norwood Drive near Roseberry Lane. Deputies say Pat O’Brien, a Tampa-based death metal guitarist, lives in the home.

Hillsborough County firefighters were able to get the fire under control after about an hour but struggled with the ammunition inside exploding due to the flames.

“It was crazy. It was crazy. It was like the end of a fireworks display. Really crazy. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop.  That loud bang. It was crazy,” said neighbor Caroline North.

Crews remained at the scene throughout the night and kept the road blocked off long after the fire was put out.

“An across the street neighbor who knows him said he has a flame thrower or something. And he practices with it. I don’t know if it was purposely or stupidly,” North said.

Around the same time the house caught fire, the sheriff’s office got a call about a burglary in progress at a nearby home on Windflower Circle.

An arrest report shows O’Brien went in the house without permission and ignored orders from the family to leave.

A sheriff’s office supervisor says O’Brien pushed a woman down inside the house then went into the backyard.

Deputies responding to the burglary found O’Brien hiding behind a fence near the home. They say O’Brien charged at them with a knife. Deputies then used a Taser to take him down. 

O’Brien is charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling with assault and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

A Hillsborough County judge set his bond at $50,000 Tuesday morning. O’Brien is required to complete a drug test before he’s able to bond out of jail. 

Fire officials are trying to determine the cause of the fire. 

O’Brien is the lead guitarist for the death metal band Cannibal Corpse. The group has a large following around the world with nearly 2 million Facebook followers.

The band announced Monday they would be part of an upcoming leg of Slayer’s farewell tour.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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