NewsArizona News


Warnings issued after medical marijuana facility fires

Posted at 9:02 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-24 01:26:03-04

A new warning is being issued about fires at medical marijuana facilities, after two fires in our state were caused this summer and a chemical spill at another facility. 

The most recent occurred on August 12 in Coolidge.  

First responders say a worker at a facility off Coolidge Avenue did not store a can of butane properly and it exploded inside of a fridge, starting a fire. 

Coolidge Fire Capt. Mark Dillon says the situation was especially dangerous for his crew because there were different types of gasses stored inside, something that's typical for marijuana processing, but not for dispensing the drug, which is the only thing this particular facility was zoned for. 

"It most definitely could be deadly for first responders, whether it be law enforcement or fire," explained Chief Dillon. 

Part of the reason is because of all the flammable materials inside - chemicals, lamps, electrical equipment, and even the plants themselves. 

Chief Dillon says as medical marijuana grows in popularity, he believes we'll see more of these kinds of fires. 

"I believe this is a trend we will probably see and this is something fire departments and law enforcement and city code officials will have to deal with because it's a crop and a business that's in Arizona to stay," said Dillon.

In June, there was another fire at a marijuana facility in Phoenix. And in Snowflake, there was an incident at another facility with chemicals being spilled. 

The spill in Snowflake reportedly sent several people to the hospital at another marijuana facility.