Suspect in Whitby house explosion released on promise to appear in court
A 48-year-old Whitby man who is facing charges in connection with a house explosion has been released from police custody on a promise to appear in court at a later date.
The incident occurred at around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday at a residence on Cedar Street, which is near Garden and Dundas streets.
Three males were in the basement of the home at the time. One of those men was trying to chemically create oil from marijuana when the blast occurred, police say.
All three men were subsequently taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, where the accused was taken into custody.
In a news release issued on Thursday morning, Durham Regional Police identified the man facing charges as Jody Cormier.
Cormier is charged with arson with disregard for human life, criminal negligence and alter cannabis with an organic solvent.
The investigation into the explosion itself is continuing, though police say that they believe it was sparked by butane that was being used in the production of the cannabis oil.
Aerial footage from the scene Wednesday evening showed that one side of the home had partially collapsed with debris visible throughout the yard. The home’s windows also appear to have been shattered as a result of the force of the blast.
Inspectors with the Ontario Fire Marshal have said that the home is not structurally safe to enter at this time.