Colorado

Dec 8, 2013 10:46 PM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

Colorado Springs man hospitalized, accused of causing explosion while making hash oil

A Colorado Springs man was hospitalized on Saturday night for burns he suffered after police say he caused an explosion while making hash oil.

It happened just after 10 p.m. on Saturday night at the Grandview Apartments on the 2500-block of East Pikes Peak Avenue. Residents reported an explosion, firefighters responded along with police officers.

"They found an apartment that had some structural damage and an injured male who had been evidently cooking hash oil, using kind of a home chemist kind of methodology," described Lt. Cari Graves, of the Colorado Springs Police Department.

The process of making hash oil has been making headlines across the country lately for similar incidents involving explosions. In situations where people are making the oil at home marijuana is soaked in a solvent, commonly butane, to extract potent oils that are made into a thick jelly or wax which can be smoked. The butane is meant to be removed from the marijuana, most often by boiling it away or using a vacuum device. But, because butane fumes collect, the smallest spark can ignite an explosion.

"Different agencies in Colorado have had incidents regarding the cooking of hash oil and have made warnings," Lt. Graves explained.

In October the Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) issued a bulletin warning first responders of the dangers of hash oil accident scenes. According to the bulletin in February 2013 a hash oil lab caused a house explosion in Lakewood and in July 2013 a man and woman were severely burned in Colorado Springs while making hash oil. The CIAC stated that they believe the legalization of marijuana use in Colorado is causing the increase in hash oil incidents.

"A very dangerous process, anytime anyone takes at home chemistry, for whatever purpose, and they're using unsafe chemicals, toxic chemicals, flammable chemicals, they're endangering the people around them," explained Lt. Graves.

The man who was injured on Saturday night has been taken to a Denver hospital and is expected to recover, but he is facing a charge of fourth degree arson as a result of the incident.

 

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