No criminal charges filed in Summit hashish explosion
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY – The identities of two people severely burned in an explosion early Sunday morning still haven’t been released, but the Summit County Sheriff’s Office says they likely won’t face criminal charges. Their residence near Breckenridge is part of a legal medical marijuana grow operation; the explosion was reportedly caused by butane in the process of making hashish.
The names and health status of the burn victims aren’t accessible to the public because of medical confidentiality laws. Officials say medical marijuana operations fall under the regulations.
Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Tracy LeClair said the house has been turned over to Red, White and Blue Fire District for its own investigation.
“All information is confidential,” LeClair said. “At this point no criminal charges were filed, and there’s no police investigation at this point.”
Sheriff’s deputies and the fire department responded to a house fire just outside of Breckenridge Sunday at about 2:30 a.m. They observed bloody footprints in the snow. Windows, window frames, insulation and other debris was scattered around the house.
According to the sheriff’s office, several medical marijuana registry cards, numerous marijuana plants and four empty cases of butane fuel canisters were found in the home after the accident. A man and a woman were severely burned in the explosion, and a roommate brought them to the hospital in Frisco; they were transferred to University of Colorado Hospital in Denver.
The explosion likely happened because one of the residents was trying to make hashish through a process using butane, which boils at room temperature, according to authorities. The roommate said the person had made hash several times before and usually did it in the garage. This time it was done in a bedroom.
“The fire is still under investigation at this point,” said Red, White and Blue Fire District fire marshal Jay Nelson.
Nelson said he “believes the butane was not being used appropriately for its intended use, and that may have contributed to this explosion.”
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A management plan for the Marolt Open Space guides the city to largely leave it alone, although a feasibility study will be done for a potential bike park on the south side of the property.