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Whitby house explosion linked to cannabis oil production, suspect arrested: police

Last Updated Nov 8, 2018 at 6:18 pm EST

A 48-year-old man is facing charges after a home in Whitby was heavily damaged in an explosion Wednesday afternoon.

Jody Cormier has been charged with arson, criminal negligence, and a charge under the Cannabis Act related to the production of a cannabis product.

Police tell CityNews there was no marijuana grow-op at the property and investigators believe the explosion happened when butane was being used in the production of cannabis oil.

Cormier was a resident of the home and one of three people who suffered minor injuries in the blast which occurred on Cedar Street near Garden Street and Dundas Street East around 3:30 p.m.

The other people injured were a man in his fifties and a visiting father in his seventies.

The house sustained significant damage during the blast, which neighbours say could be heard several blocks away.

A woman who lives on the main floor of the house, Johnna, tells CityNews she had just left to go pick up her seven-year-old daughter from school minutes before the blast occurred.

“I couldn’t even comprehend it. What do I do, who do I call, where do I go… I have nothing,” she said.

She has a pet pig named Bentley, who lives in the backyard. Bentley was supposed to be a miniature pig, but is now well over 200 lbs.

Late Thursday, it was learned that Bentley will be taken care of at a sanctuary in Orangeville.

Engineers have been called in to inspect the house and to determine if it is structurally sound.

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CityNews – when you update the story with the name of the man charged, you could also update (remove) the sentence that says “The name of the man charged has not been released”.

November 08, 2018 at 9:37 am