Lake City explosion caused by hash oil production

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Seattle police say an explosion in the Lake City neighborhood Monday night appears to have been caused when residents tried to extract oil from a marijuana plant.

The explosion at a rental house in the 3000 block of 135th Street shook neighboring homes and shattered windows. Glass was thrown 30 feet and even a back wall was blown three inches back. No one was injured.

One neighbor said they could see a small a small fire inside the home as the renters tried to put it out.

When the bomb squad arrived at the scene, the residents in the house said the refrigerator exploded, but the investigation showed that the residents were using a dangerous method of using butane to extract hash oil from marijuana. Hash oil is a more potent form of marijuana.

The explosion is the latest in a series of similar kinds of blasts that have burned and injured others. Police and fire departments report seeing more of these kinds of explosions regionally. In Mount Vernon last summer, a hash oil production blast injured three people and forced the evacuation of others in the complex.

"How to" videos for the method can be found on the internet, and even though they emphasize safety, fire officials say using butane indoors is a recipe for an explosion.

Police, however, may not have the legal teeth to crack down on these manufacturers yet because the enforcement of 502 is yet to be determined by the state liquor and cannabis control board.

Seattle police say it's possible that in the Lake City case that the residents could be charged with reckless endangerment, but no charges have been filed yet.

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