Mar­i­juana labs spawn lethal ex­plo­sions

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

An ex­plo­sion that de­stroyed a New York City home and killed a fire­fighter has drawn at­ten­tion to mar­i­juana-mak­ing meth­ods that are le­gal in many states, but can also be lethal.

A New York fire bat­tal­ion chief died re­spond­ing to the blast Tues­day in a Bronx home that au­thor­i­ties say had been con­verted into an in­door mar­i­juana farm. They’re in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether the al­leged grow­ers tam­pered with gas lines and mis­han­dled other ma­te­ri­als.

In­door mar­i­juana farm­ers can cre­ate po­ten­tial fire haz­ards by us­ing nat­u­ral gas, propane or bu­tane to power car­bon diox­ide gen­er­a­tors that make the plants grow. In re­cent years across the coun­try, sim­i­lar meth­ods used to pro­duce more po­tent mar­i­juana ex­tracts have re­sulted in ex­plo­sions.

In­door gas use “is a stan­dard way to grow mar­i­juana,” says Michael O’Hare, a pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia in Berke­ley who is an ex­pert in cannabis cul­ti­va­tion.

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