Exactly one year ago today a hash oil explosion in Bellevue destroyed 10 apartment units just outside of Seattle. Three men started the fire at 6:20 a.m. while using butane to extract the hash oil from marijuana. One hundred police and fire fighters were called to battle the fire which lasted several hours and injured seven.
Nan Campbell, former mayor of Bellevue died in the fire after suffering from a broken pelvis. Other residents ended up with broken bones, after jumping out of 2nd and 3rd story windows. Originally it was thought that the injuries were not life-threatening.
Residents who were interviewed lost all their belongings. There were $1,500,000 in damages to the building and about 1/3 of that in personal possessions. The one shining light at the end was that a woman who thought her cat was gone later found the pet under the rubble. After investigation and with the aid of federal agents, three men were charged on July 22, 2014.
It has been said that marijuana legalization privatizes profits while the public pays all the costs.
Home processing of BHO from marijuana is not legal. However, when police had come to investigate the two men living in the apartment on October 17, they showed their medical marijuana cards and denied making butane hash oil. One of those charged was visiting the complex. At least 5 other explosions occurred in the Seattle area this year.
This year 31 home explosions triggered by making the marijuana concentrate, BHO, occurred in Colorado by the beginning of May. Butane is a highly volatile solvent and a flammable gas at room temperature. Without proper ventilation it can easily go off like a bomb with ball of fire, blowing out windows, and doing damage to a house, condo or apartment and putting innocent neighbors at risk. This is particularly of concern to multilevel housing units like motels, condos and apartment buildings. Twice children in Colorado were trapped on the 2nd level and had to be rescued.
The first hash oil explosion in Colorado happened in 2012. There were 11 explosions in 2013. With legalization these incidence increase.
Downloadable Fact Sheet
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