A fire that severely damaged a Chilliwack home and sent residents scrambling for their lives has now been linked to the production of hash oil, local RCMP say.
The fire broke out in the basement suite of a Rotary Street home on Oct. 26. When fire crews arrived, smoke was billowing from the structure and firefighters had to pull two residents through basement windows to safety.
At the time, it was believed the fire started in the kitchen and was accidental. However, investigators say they have since found evidence of the material used to make hash oil – a potent drug distilled from marijuana.
On Tuesday, Oct. 29, with the assistance of the E Division Clandestine Lab Team, The Chilliwack RCMP Drug Section executed the search warrant on the Rotary Street residence. Removed from the scene was a quantity of Isopropyl alcohol, butane, a pressure cooker, and a quantity marijuana shake, all precursor materials to make hash or “ weed” oil.
“On their own, the chemicals seized are not necessarily dangerous, said Cpl. Kurt Bosnell. “However, the process used to make hash oil involves heating large amounts of isopropyl alcohol on a stove or hot plate until it is brought to a boil. This process creates a volatile and dangerous situation,” he said.
“ We are fortunate that, with the quick response from the fire Department, the fire was contained to the structure itself.”
The incident is still under investigation. Anyone with additional information about this incident is asked to call the Chilliwack RCMP Drug Section at 604-792-4611 or Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).