Blast near Breckenridge possibly linked to hashish production
An explosion in a house where marijuana was being grown legally for medical use has resulted in two people being severely burned, according to Summit County authorities.
According to the Summit County Sheriff's department, deputies and members of the Red White and Blue Fire Department were called to a home just outside Breckenridge about 2:30 a.m. Sunday on the report of a house fire.
According to the man who called for emergency help, he had taken two of his roommates to the Summit Medical Center following an explosion at the home.
Deputies and firemen arriving at the home saw bloody footprints in the snow. They saw windows, window frames, insulation and other debris scattered in the interior of the home.
They also smelled the odor of fresh marijuana and some type of chemical smell.
After testing the air to determine it was safe to proceed, firefighters and deputies entered the home. There they found the roommate who had taken the two severely injured people to the Summit County Medical Center.
The man told them that those in the home were licensed to legally grow marijuana for medical purposes - a statement confirmed by the law enforcement agencies.
After obtaining a search warrant, investigators entered the home again and found several marijuana registry cards, along with numerous marijuana plants and four empty cases of butane fuel canisters.
The man who drove his roommates to the medical center said he wasn't in the room where the explosion occurred. But he said he believed the explosion was the result of one of his roommates attempting to make hashish — or hash — in the room through a process using butane, which boils at room temperature.
The man said his roommate had made hash several times before and usually did so in the garage.
Jay Nelson, fire marshal for Red White and Blue Fire Department, said in a statement that butane should never be used inside a house.
"When butane is used indoors, severe injury or death may result," said Nelson.
Authorities said the two individuals were transferred from the Summit Medical Center to a Denver area hospital to be treated for severe burns.
Investigators said that because this was a legal medical marijuana growing operation and falls under federal confidentiality regulations, no additional information or photos will be released.
By Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post
12/14/2009 01:25:21 PM MST
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