State police conducting investigation after fire in Cottage Grove sends 1 to burn unit

Investigators waiting for a search warrant. (SBG)

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - An arson investigation team is now on the scene of a fire in a cannabis business that sent one peson to a burn unit in Portland, and Oregon State Police confirmed they are conducting a criminal investigation.

The identity of the injured person is not yet known.

The nature of the criminal investigation is not yet known.

Firefighters said the fire appears to have started in a machine inside the building on Lane Street.

"It appeared to be a processing machine that was burning that started the fire,” South Lane Division One Fire Marshal Danny Solesby said. “One victim was taken to Cottage Grove hospital and will be transported, probably, to Portland for burns. I don’t know the extent of the burns."

The structure wasn’t damaged, officials said, adding that fire was confined to processing equipment.

Processing facility new in last year

The City of Cottage Grove Planning Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit to allow processing at the facility at a December 21, 2016, meeting.

"The processing method uses a certified, closed-loop extractor designed for use with hydrocarbon solvents to extract cannabis oil. It is anticipated that 50 to 100 lbs of material will be processed in a week," according to the meeting minutes. "The building has a ventilation system that was installed by a licensed and bonded mechanical engineer, and consists of a fully enclosed, firewall protected room with explosion proof fans and adequate ventilation. All material will be stored in a locked and secured vault on site. All hydrocarbon solvents will be in gas cylinders stored in a locked cabinet."

Fire extinguishers and a fire safety inspection are listed as conditions of the permit.

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