A fire sparked by an explosive mix of chemicals and fuel from hash oil extraction has unsettled a mountain town already on high alert.
"If we had a little more wind, we could have had a fire equal to the Cold Springs Fire," Cpt. Eric Abramson of the Nederland Fire Department said.
The fire broke out at around 5 p.m. Monday at a house on Alpine Drive just south of Barker Reservoir.
Two people were injured in the blaze. Their conditions are unknown, but Abramson said they were out of the house and walking around when firefighters arrived. They had severe burns and were airlifted to University Hospital.
"From what the witnesses have told us, they were in pretty bad shape," Abramson said.
Investigators say they found an extensive marijuana grow operation inside the home, which is located on Alpine Drive just south of Barker Reservoir.
The blaze is believed to have originated from the garage, which had multiple potential ignition and fuel sources that would have allowed for the explosion to occur.
"I turned off the gas on the side of the house, and started moving towards the door," Abramson said. "That's when some sort of flammable container went off and really sent flames right across the door opening.
Firefighters found evidence of hash oil extraction in the garage.
Steve Pishcke, a fire investigator for the Multi-Agency Fire Investigation Team, says hash oil explosions have become common along the Front Range.
"Because there's so much money associated with this type of activity and the outcome of it that people want to get involved," he said.
Authorities are working to determine if the marijuana grow was illegal.
Investigators say the growers were using commercial equipment, although it appears it was cobbled together.
Pishcke says investigators are looking to talk to a man who has been renting the home for nine or 10 years. The owners are out of state.
The investigation into the fire is being considered criminal.