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Illegal marijuana operation the site of fire, explosions in White City, investigators say

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says that a major fire on Wednesday night appears to have resulted from an 'illegal cannabis extraction process' at the White City building.

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 12:46 PM
Updated: Apr 22, 2021 12:48 PM

WHITE CITY, Ore. — The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says that a major fire in White City on Wednesday night appears to have resulted from an illegal marijuana operation at the building on Antelope Road.

Sheriff's deputies, firefighters, and paramedics responded to reports of an explosion and fire at the industrial building in the 1500-block of Antelope Road shortly after 8 p.m.

The first deputy at the scene found a man who appeared to have suffered burns. Two more men soon approached the same deputy, both suffering from serious burns.

JCSO said that all three men were treated by medical teams, with the two most seriously injured taken to OHSU in Portland for treatment. A fourth man was seen running from the building, and investigators are looking for him.

"The fire and explosions caused extensive building damage, impacted power and internet services in White City and the fire was near open fields in the Denman Game area behind the building," the Sheriff's Office said.

An initial investigation found evidence that the explosion and fire were the result of an "illegal cannabis extraction process," the Sheriff's Office said. The case is now being examined by the Interagency Marijuana Enforcement Team, JCSO, Fire District 3, and the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.

JCSO said that investigators obtained a search warrant for the property, and it remains the site of an active investigation.

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