Ni­a­gara man guilty of ar­son af­ter makeshift drug lab ex­plodes

The Niagara Falls Review - - Local -

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.

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