The house fire that injured two Monday south of Nederland’s Barker Reservoir — in the area of Pinecliff Trail and Alpine Drive — could have been started by a hash oil explosion, according to Nederland Fire Volunteer Captain Eric Abramson.
“I can’t really comment now but it’s a little suspicious that there’s (propane) tanks blowing off (in the house),” Abramson said. “We probably suspect some sort of illegal behavior.”
While he couldn’t provide specific detail on the cause the fire, Abramson indicated that the incident was marijuana related.
“I want to say that it’s beyond just a marijuana grow (operation),” he said. “There’s other things going on with cannabis as a product. Most people that grow marijuana as a product don’t create this kind of a hazard.
“I’ve been on the force for 18 to 19 years now; it was very dangerous and I’m not happy about it.”
At least two people were reported injured in the fire, and they were airlifted to a hospital in Denver, according to Abramson.
“The two people hospitalized had gotten out (of the house),” he said. “You can make your own conclusion (about their condition) when they get flown by helicopter to the burn unit.”
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The house was described as “fully engulfed,” and someone on the scene reported to dispatchers that flames had spread into nearby trees.
The fire was first reported around 5 p.m. and was extinguished later Monday.
“I exited my small little workshop,” neighbor Jerry Naro said. “At that time, I looked down through my trees and saw smoke. Flames had already blown out the side of the house and they spread pretty quickly.”
When asked if he knew the individuals who lived in the house, Naro demurred.
“The house has been for rent for a long time,” he said. “I don’t want to say that we don’t pay attention to what goes on in the neighborhood, but they were quiet.”
Last week, Nederland police and the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into a “suspicious death” after a man’s body was found outside an illegal marijuana grow house on the same road as Monday’s fire.
Nederland police Chief Paul Carrill said that the home where the body was found, in the 100 block of Alpine Drive, was a rental property that had been abandoned for 18 months after being used as an illegal marijuana growing operation.