Arrest made in suburban Boca Raton home explosion case

Case reveals new hidden drug danger in Florida

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - A South Florida man has been arrested in connection with a house explosion in suburban Boca Raton. Investigators said the suspect was using butane fuel to manufacture drugs.

It has been happening more and more in other states, like Colorado, but it has never caused an explosion in Florida until last week.

Investigators said Eduardo Antonio Agudelo was using butane fuel to extract hash oil from marijuana, which would then be smoked.

"What motivates people to do things like that?" wondered Joann Vitale, who lives close to where the blast occurred in the 22,000 block of Southwest 62nd Avenue, in unincorporated Boca Raton.

Authorities say Agudelo placed that butane-marijuana mixture in his freezer and that fumes filled this house. A spark from the back of the refrigerator was all it took to cause the explosion, they said.

Surveillance video from next door showed the fence shaking from the blast, which blew out windows and rattled neighbors.

"When they chose to do these crazy things, they put their neighbors in danger," said Vitale.

This is the first time in Florida that extracting hash oil from marijuana with butane has caused such a blast. Authorities fear it will not be the last.

If it can happen here, neighbors believe it could happen anywhere. "You really don't know who your neighbors are anymore or who moves in," said resident Barbara Longacre. "You don't know anymore."

No one was injured in the blast last week. Agudelo was arrested Tuesday and is facing arson and drug manufacturing charges.
 

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