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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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