JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – It was the first hash oil explosion in Jefferson County and now people are finding out just how devastating the lasting effects can be.
Last April no one was injured in the blast, but a family has been ripped apart. CBS4’s Jeff Todd found out how local firefighters are helping mend the wounds.
It was a special day for Brayden on Saturday. He had free rein of a West Metro fire station and all the excitement a 5-year-old can handle.
“Just getting to meet him is absolutely heartwarming,” West Metro Fire Rescue District Chief Gary Armstrong said.
When Brayden grows up he wants to be a firefighter.
“We’re super excited to get to meet him. He actually had a very difficult experience that involved a residential fire in a townhouse,” Armstrong said.
It was last April when Corbin Braithwaite decided to try and make hash oil in his apartment and an explosion occurred. Braithwaite’s girlfriend and her two children were inside.
“All the pictures fell off the wall,” neighbor Shannon Minger said about the explosion to CBS 4 in April of 2014.
“The actual fire damage was minimal, but when you talk about little kids seeing that trauma, seeing a person that’s hurt, that’s certainly lasting,” Armstrong said.
PHOTO GALLERY: West Metro Fire Station
That’s why Brayden brought a book he wrote to read to his heroes.
“My name is Brayden. I am 5 years old … I was in the living room and then the fire came … it was orange and hot and this is the smoke,” Brayden said.
He had nightmares for a year.
“It seems I have volcanos in my eyes,” he said.
His story ends — no longer being afraid of the flames.
“Me in my bed and I’m dreaming about something happy.”
That’s why he went to the fire station.
“I love this place … because it’s super cool … these people saved my house from a big fire.”
Braithwaite is currently serving a 4 year sentence for child abuse, arson and drug possession. Grandparents are working to adopt the children.