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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

November 26, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Bitter Lake house fire blamed on hash-oil operation

Seattle police say the fire that destroyed a home in the Bitter Lake area on Tuesday was due to the manufacture of a marijuana-based product.

The fire was reported around 7:30 p.m. in the 400 block of North 125th Street. Inside, firefighters found what appeared to be a lab used to extract hash oil as well as marijuana and more than 150 butane cans.

The residents were not injured, police said .

The most popular method of extracting hash oil from marijuana — called “blasting” — involves flammable solvents, particularly butane, which can be bought in hardware stores.

Usually, a glass or steel canister is stuffed with dried pot. The canister is then flooded with the solvent, which strips away the psychotropic plant oils. The resulting golden-brown goo is then purged of the solvent, often by boiling it in water.

The danger comes in improper ventilation. Odorless and colorless, butane is heavier than air and puddles in a closed room; sparks can cause catastrophes.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Bitter Lake, hash-oil extraction, House fire

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