WARREN - A Warren house explosion wasn't caused by gas and it wasn't a meth lab. Instead it was a different drug that begins with a 'm' and the fire chief says they've never dealt with an explosion like this before.
The Warren Fire Department says the explosion stemmed from the production of medical marijuana leading to a valuable lesson.
"Apparently they were attempting to extract THC oil out of the marijuana," said Warren Fire Department Battalion Chief John Dalton. "There are a couple processes I've been told they use, one is butane."
Dalton says that led up to the explosion on Harold Street Monday afternoon.
Investigators say a 19 year old man living here used butane to draw out the oil creating combustible gases in the process. He then put the byproduct in the freezer.
"The butane being heavier than air, it fell to the ground, the refrigerator kicked on and it sparked the explosion," Dalton said.
Thankfully no neighbors were hurt. A few pets inside were injured and a cat died. The 19-year-old and his mother had left hours earlier.
FOX 2: "What would've happened had they been home?"
"Well there probably would've been some serious injuries," said Dalton.
The explosion happened around the same time a former Warren deputy mayor sued the city for its heavy-handed crackdown on Michigan Safe Transfer. It is a business where medical marijuana caregivers provide their patients with the drug.
While they say they've done everything by the book, there are will always be others who often unknowingly, don't.
And that's what investigators believe happened here.
"It's a very dangerous thing to work with," Dalton said. "We worry about meth labs and train a lot for that but we're also learning that some of these other processes can be just as dangerous."
The explosion and the fire that came as a result caused nearly $200,000 worth of damage to property inside the house and the home itself, which is a total loss
Authorities say the investigation is ongoing.