West Kelowna  

Drug lab at fatal fire

UPDATE: 4:50 p.m.

Social media posts appear to back up a police claim that a drug lab was in the home where an explosion and fire claimed the life of a young West Kelowna man.

The blaze hospitalized two residents and claimed the life of a third.

Facebook chatter from friends of victim David Hunt talks about "shatter" production at the home.

Shatter – also known as wax, sap, budder, and a number of other nicknames – is a type of cannabis concentrate that resembles honey or taffy. When smoked, it can produce a stronger high than marijuana buds. 

Comments under a link to a GoFundMe page set up for the family are blunt in their assessment. 

"The part about the shatter lab that caused the explosion seems to be missing," one commenter posted. 

Others had speculated on social media that a meth lab was involved. 

"I heard it was shatter, not meth," Haily Dawn wrote under the post. 

"The kid that died wasn’t even involved in it. He was just a friend. Kid didn’t even do drugs. He didn’t deserve what happened," Dawn added. 

"And it was shatter," Taryn Pick replied.  

Castanet has also received tips that the explosion was caused by the production of drugs. "Specifically, shatter. It's been floating around social media (from) close friends of the deceased," said one tipster.

What makes shatter production dangerous is the the use of butane and improper ventilation. Butane is highly flammable and tends to sink. In poorly ventilated areas, it can pool and easily be ignited by a spark.

ORIGINAL: 1 p.m.

A fatal fire at a West Kelowna home Wednesday night that left a young man dead and two seriously injured may have been caused by a drug lab explosion.

The explosive fire began about 9:40 p.m. on Elliot Road, quickly engulfing the home. David Hunt, 19, was killed in the blaze, while Chiara Boehlke, 21, and Aleck Villeneuve, 24, were critically injured. A fourth person suffered minor injuries.

On Friday, Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey of the Kelowna RCMP said initial reports and observations made by first responders suggest the house was “being used in the production of drugs.”

“Although the exact cause of this house fire remains unknown at this time, RCMP strongly believe that this was not the act of an arsonist, and that the public is not at any risk,” O'Donaghey said.

The investigation is now being supported by the RCMP's Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team.

Investigators continue to scour through the wreckage.

“RCMP appreciate the public's patience as periodic closures along Elliott Road may be required for the safety of those at the scene,” O'Donaghey added.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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