Marijuana hash oil lab explodes, house burns


by KING 5 News

Posted on May 21, 2014 at 2:09 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 21 at 5:34 PM

PUYALLUP — Police believe the largest THC-hash oil operation they say they have ever seen was responsible for an explosion outside a house in Puyallup Tuesday night.

A 20-year-old man was arrested on charges of manufacturing drugs, reckless burning and reckless endangerment.

Ten people were in the home at the time, including a 14-month-old girl.

Puyallup police said no one was hurt.

Investigators say they found butane cans around the home in the 1500 block of Shaw Road. The lab was set up in front of the home that was on fire.

Police say there were multiple butane explosions in the driveway, sending debris flying hundreds of yards away.

"For about 15 minutes or so it sounded like fireworks going off. Large bangs, whistling petes, large explosions,” said neighbor Mark Pedersen.

Police say they found the THC-hash oil extraction lab in the driveway and that it was the source of explosions and fire.

The home's siding was burned and the fire torched a car in the driveway..

Detective James Mjor with with Washington State Patrol said the number of hash oil-related fires have increased as the state gets closer to allowing the sale of marijuana this summer.

Hash oil will be legal, but the way it was allegedly processed in Puyallup Tuesday will not be allowed under state law, said a Liquor Control Board spokesperson.

Brian Smith said only processors with "commercial closed loop" systems are getting licenses.

Smith said the airtight containers are safer than homemade operations because the flammable butane is contained within the system.

The state has issued 33 processing licenses so far.

Retail locations are expected to open in July.