NEW: Oven Fire Leads To Drug Search

Posted: May 14, 2014

Daily News-Record

An oven fire at a Harrisonburg apartment last week led police to search the home for drugs.

The Harrisonburg Fire Department responded to an apartment at 1171 Devon Lane shortly after 9 p.m. on May 7.

After extinguishing the blaze, a fire marshal noticed drugs and drug paraphernalia inside the apartment, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Rockingham County Circuit Court.

He then summoned a police officer assisting with traffic control.

“While I was standing in the apartment, [the fire marshal] was explaining how the stories of the two individuals involved did not match up,” the officer wrote in the affidavit.

Among other items, the officer noted, he saw a cut up 2-liter plastic bottle typically used to create a water bong to smoke marijuana.

Officers seized a bottle of butane, some marijuana, an oven mitt, a glass baking dish, smoking devices, grinders and a set of scales.

It’s unclear if the residents were making edibles. Edibles, such as candy and baked goods, have become more popular in Colorado, where recreational use of marijuana is now legal.

Firefighters say the fire began while a man in his 20s was cooking. When he tried to extinguish the fire, he suffered burns to his hands and chest, they say.

The man, whose name was not released, also suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to Sentara RMH Medical Center. It’s unclear if he was seriously injured.

The apartment, located in an off-campus housing complex near the James Madison University campus, had minimal fire damage, according to fire officials.

No charges have been filed. Police are continuing to investigate.

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