Police

Langley fire blamed on cannabis oil extraction process

Police believe injured man suffered burns while using butane

The fire that sent a Langley Township resident to hospital last week was caused by a butane gas explosion while cannabis oil was being extracted from marijuana, investigators believe.

A 56-year-old man was transported to hospital by air ambulance after he suffered extensive burns in a noon-hour fire on Thursday, Aug. 11 in a house near 204 Street and 76 Avenue.

The victim was conscious and able to walk to the stretcher before he was loaded onto the ambulance.

He is expected to recover.

The fire was small and damage was limited to a portion of the house interior and an exterior deck.

Multiple, police, fire and ambulance units attended.

The area was closed to traffic for several hours.

A Langley RCMP update said it appeared the fire was caused by an “extraction lab” that tried to produce concentrated cannabis using potentially explosive butane gas.

The police investigation is continuing.

Butane hash oil (BHO), also known as honey oil, dabs or shatter is produced by using the gas as a solvent to extract THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) from marijuana.

It is considered a highly dangerous method.

In the United Kingdom, a BBC investigation found two people have died and 27 people have been injured in extraction lab explosions since 2014.

In Colorado there were more than 30 explosions linked to the process in 2014.

This year, the New Mexico Environment Department released security camera footage (below) of a explosion at a licensed medical marijuana dispensary that left two workers with third-degree burns.

The blast occurred in June of 2015 while the two employees were using butane to extract THC from marijuana to make cannabis oil.

The video shows one employee kneeling on the ground with a torch, when a fiery explosion occurs, lighting their hair on fire.

The workers survived.