Investigation on house explosion continues

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An investigation into what caused a house to explode a couple weeks ago in Commerce Township continues across multiple police and fire departments, pointing to the use of recreational drugs. 

“I can’t make that official since the investigation is still ongoing, but from the looks of there was a use of marijuana on the site,” said Pontiac Police Major Christopher Wundrach.

Although not present for the incident, Fire Chief Dundas said the cause of the explosion in his opinion was tied to growing marijuana in the house.

“It wasn’t just a specific drug house, growing marijuana is legal within certain limits,” Dundas said. 

“We found 12 large marijuana plants just outside of the back door, inside of the house there were several large butane canisters and a piece of apparatus that is used to dry marijuana leaves,” Dundas said. “The cause could be the butane canisters exploding which could be the logical conclusion, but we won’t know until we get the full report.”

The big bang

Thunderous booms echoed across Commerce Township on Thursday Sept, 24 when a massive explosion destroyed a house in Arbutus Street. It rocked the neighborhood, raising worry and chaos for the Arbutus residents. 

The street intersection of Arbutus/Garden Terr in Commerce Township. Credit: Lance Limbo

Called into action

The call was made around 12:33 a.m. Firefighters were called in to stop the emerging flames in the Arbutus neighborhood. The Fire Chief of Commerce Township James Dundas spent the next couple days trying to get a grasp of the situation.

“The significant explosion was very loud, Dundas said. “The neighborhood house being close together, the neighbors called and the Oakland County Sheriff got there before we did since they were a mile away from that neighborhood. When they got there, the house was fully involved in fire and the structure was partially collapsed from the explosion.”

Reports of the incident 

The fire and police department estimated property damage at $220,000, citing the house only sustained damages.

Reports also noted that the house did not have an automatic extinguishing system.

Two victims of the explosion, both men in their mid-20s, were treated at local hospitals.  

The EMS vehicle that is used for any medical emergency in Fire Station 4, Commerce Township. Credit: Lance Limbo

Learn more about the Commerce Township Fire Department here.