Niagara man guilty of arson after makeshift drug lab explodes
When police arrived at a Niagara Falls residence to investigate an explosion in a basement, it was clear the tenant’s claim he was preparing butane for a wood burning project wasn’t true.
Strewn about the area of the explosion was a quantity of marijuana.
In an Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines on Friday, Jamie Rainville was found guilty of arson. He will return to court Dec. 14 for sentencing.
On Feb. 10, 2017, court heard, emergency crews were called to an Ottawa Avenue home in regards to a small explosion and fire in the basement.
Rainville first told police he had been filling butane cans which he used for wood burning when the explosion occurred.
He later admitted he was actually trying to extract hash oil from the marijuana. The defendant said it was his first attempt at making the substance.
In his judgment, Judge Ronald Watson said Rainville chose to ignore the risks of using numerous cans of flammable solvent in a confined space near a furnace and water heater.
“He used eight cans of butane. The use of one or two cans would have been dangerous,” the judge said.
The explosion and fire from the unsophisticated drug lab caused approximately $3,000 damage.