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Pot extraction method using butane poses hazard

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SPOKANE — A surge in the production of concentrated marijuana extract is thought to have caused at least three dangerous fires in Spokane County and has local, state and federal officials paying attention.

Investigators say a blaze that sent 30 firefighters to an apartment complex in north Spokane last month was likely caused by someone inside using butane in a process to leach the psychoactive element from marijuana. A similar process caused an explosion in a car traveling through the Garland neighborhood in August, burning a 3-year-old’s hands, face and legs and prompting assault and drug charges against 27-year-old Jacob Sayman.

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