WALLA WALLA, WA - A large explosion in the basement of a home on Chase Avenue in Walla Walla Monday seriously injured two men.
Walla Walla Police believe the explosion was the result of a process to extract hash oil from marijuana. The process involves the use of butane, which is very flammable.
The resident, 60-year-old Johny Ray Johnson, and another man, 32-year-old Thomas J. McCarthy, were in the basement when the explosion happened. An on-duty police officer was within 200 feet of the home when the explosion happened and was able to pull one of the men from the rubble. Both men were airlifted to a Seattle area hospital for 2nd and 3rd degree burns.
Friends and family members we met Tuesday told us the man injured who owns the home will likely be released Tuesday from the Seattle hospital that they were both airlifted to.
"Just a humongous boom. It knocked stuff off of our wall. I thought someone hit the side of our house with a truck or something so I came out mad. I go out back and two of my friends were badly injured," explained John Owen who lives next door and has known the two men for years.
A 12-year-old girl, 5-year-old boy and a woman were also at the home when the explosion happened, but they were not injured. The boy could not be found for a short period, but he had run to a neighbor's house.
The explosion caused extreme damage to the home, causing part of the structure to collapse.
This is the 2nd explosion reported in the city, suspected to be caused by this extraction process.