Marijuana processing responsible for north Spokane apartment fire

SPOKANE, Wash. - 24234530

Fire investigators say a device used for processing marijuana is responsible for blast that started a north Spokane apartment complex on fire last week.

Marijuana processing uses highly combustible fuels like butane to extract the THC. Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer says he's seen similar cases before. Most recently last August when a marijuana processing device exploded in the truck of a car, injuring the driver and his 2-year-old daughter.

In that case the driver was charged with criminal mistreatment of a child and 2nd degree arson.

Because marijuana is legal, charges are still being worked out between fire investigators and prosecutors.

"We're not going to look the other way when people's lives of public safety is endangered, but at the same time, like I said, it's uncharted legal precedence," said Schaeffer.

The fire at Center Court Apartments destroyed at least two units and sent one person to the hospital with smoke inhalation.