Firefighters: Explosion due to marijuana drying operation - News, Weather & Sports

Firefighters: Explosion due to marijuana drying operation

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – An explosion rocked the Butchertown neighborhood Thursday morning, and it wasn't fireworks for Thunder Over Louisville.  Firefighters and police treated it as a possible meth lab, but found it to be something even more unusual--a marijuana drying operation .

At 10:15 a.m. firefighters responded to a reported explosion at 934 Franklin Street near Butchertown. One neighbor said it was a small boom followed by a big one.

"All my stuff's inside," said Ted Edgell who lives in the apartment below.  "How am I going to be able to get it."

Edgell was at work and headed home as soon as he heard the news.

"If you're going to do anything that would create an explosion, put your own self in danger, don't put anybody else in danger," said Edgell.

Firefighters told WAVE 3 his upstairs neighbor 26-year-old Mark Hazel was drying marijuana with butane canes.

"At one point he piled too many clothes next to those cans and the flare caught the clothes on fire, causing this haze," said Captain Salvador Melendez. 

Melendez later confirmed the "haze" was burning marijuana.

"I've never seen this kind of set-up, and he has had that going for days," said Melendez.

Initially they were worried it was part of a meth lab. Crews entered the building in hazmat suits and wore gas masks, but in the end neighbors were relieved to find out it wasn't meth.

"That kind of thing really can take home values down, really distract people away from the neighborhood," said neighbor Chyrell Harper.

The building, however, is still damaged.

"The guy that caused the explosion lives upstairs where the majority of all the damage is," said Edgell.

There is potential structural damage, which means Edgell and his other neighbors can't go inside their homes.  

"It is what it is," said Edgell. "What do you do?" 

Edgell will stay with family across the river.

Hazel, who lived in the apartment, transported himself to the hospital. Police said they expect to file wanton endangerment and trafficking charges.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly