Motel fire caused by hash oil explosion, police say

A Sunday fire that sent a man and a woman to the hospital is believed to have resulted from an attempt to get the THC out of marijuana.

According to the Grand Junction Police Department, the explosion at the Monument Inn, 1600 North Ave., happened when the man and woman, whose names and ages weren’t available, tried to make marijuana butane hash oil. The oil is made by using butane to extract THC from marijuana to produce THC concentrate, according to police. THC is the chemical that creates the high for the user.

Because flammable materials are used in the process, there is a high risk of explosion, according to police. The man and woman sustained what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries in the blast, said Kate Porras, Grand Junction Police Department spokeswoman.

The man had what appeared to be burn marks on his body, according to police.

So far, no arrests have been made, Porras said, “but we’re still investigating. Right now we’re looking at it as an arson investigation but there’s a good chance there may be other charges as well.”

The explosion caused a small fire in the room, which was extinguished before emergency personnel arrived, Porras said. The room’s carpeting and bedding were damaged and had to be replaced, Porras said.

According to police, several similar explosions have happened around the country, including some on the Front Range.


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