Propane torch, marijuana to blame for explosion at Harrison Township apartments

Published On: Mar 25 2013 03:02:23 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 25 2013 03:08:11 PM EDT

A chemical buildup created by a propane torch and marijuana is to blame for Sunday's explosion at a Harrison Township apartment complex.

Three fire departments responded to a two alarm fire, just after 3:30 p.m., at the Beachwood Apartment Complex located on Metro Villa Drive.

According to the Harrison Township Fire Department, the force of the blast knocked the building off of its foundation and the other units are now uninhabitable.

A resident of the apartment, age 19, suffered extensive burns. He told deputies that his stove exploded and claimed he was the only person in the apartment when it happened.

However, police say a total of five people were inside the apartment when a propane torch was used to try and extract THC from marijuana plants in the kitchen area.

The chemicals used in this process created flammable gasses that were ignited by the torch, causing the explosion.

Police say a 22-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman also lived in the apartment.

The man was not injured. The woman, and another 22-year-old man from Clinton Township were treated for non life threatening injuries.

Police say during the explosion an 18-year-old man also received minor injuries, but refused medical treatment.

The Red Cross is assisting residents who were displaced by the explosion and Sheriff Wickersham says the matter remains under investigation.


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