By Jeff Todd
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – After several explosions and a fire at a Lakewood motel Wednesday evening, police and fire investigators are investigating if two men trying to make hash oil caused the building to be evacuated and damaged one room.
“When you see fires in movies, that’s exactly what it looked like. There was black smoke coming out of the room and going all over the place,” said Alyxs Morell, who witnessed the fire.
West Metro Fire Rescue officials say they were called around 5 p.m. Firefighters were able to keep the flames and smoke damage to just one unit at the Crossland Economy Suites.
Two men are in custody being investigated for the possible hash oil explosion. A hotel employee told CBS4 the men had been staying there more than a month and didn’t use housekeeping. Their names haven’t been released.
“It was pretty panic-inducing,” Morell said of the explosions. “It sounded like gunshots. I wasn’t sure what had gone on, and then I heard people saying it’s butane exploding.”
“That process is obviously dangerous usually using butane, so whenever we here multiple explosions at a fire that’s something that we suspect right off the bat,” said Division Chief Steve Aseltine with West Metro Fire Rescue.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.