A home that exploded and caught fire in Markham earlier this month was being used as a drug lab, according to York Regional Police, who have laid numerous charges against three people, including the parents of children injured in the blast.
In the early evening of March 15, firefighters were called to a home on Douglas Haig Drive, near McCowan Road and Steeles Avenue East, for reports of an explosion and fire.
One man, aged 30, was taken to Sunnybrook hospital with serious injuries. A 26-year-old woman and three children – a three-year-old boy, a two-year-old girl and a three-month-old girl – were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
A York Regional Police officer was also taken to hospital for minor injuries related to smoke inhalation.
Damage to the home, as well as two neighbouring homes, is estimated at $1.5 million, police said.
"Investigators have determined that the residence was being used for a drug production lab where THC resin was being extracted from marijuana, commonly done to produce other types of drugs," York Regional Police said in a news release announcing the charges.
Police have charged a male, 30, and a woman, 26, who are not being named to protect the identities of the children, as well as Jian Jim Lin, 27. All are from Markham and are charged with:
- Arson with disregard for human life.
- Arson causing damage to property (three counts).
- Trafficking cannabis.
- Produce cannabis.
All three will make separate court appearances. The 30-year-old will appear in court in Newmarket on March 24, the 26-year-old woman will appear in court in Newmarket on April 15, while Lin will appear in court on April 26.
Police are asking members of the public to be vigilant about suspicious odours, unusual storage or stockpiling of chemicals in their neighbourhoods and to call police. Anyone with information about this case can call 866-876-5423, ext. 7541, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.