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Man lighting joint sparks explosion in underground bunker

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LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — A man lighting a joint sparked an explosion in an underground bunker in Timnath in June, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

It happened near a home in the 3300 block of South County Road 1 on June 13.

“When investigators arrived, they found a hole in the ground approximately 20 feet deep and only large enough for one person to fit through at a time,” officials stated.

“It was later determined there was a ‘room’ at the bottom of the hole that extended about six to 10 feet horizontally.”

Investigators determined 35-year-old Michael Lee Williams and a 12-year-old boy had been working on the bunker for months.

Williams said it was intended to be a tornado shelter, but investigators say he was making hash oil in the bunker.

On June 13, Williams had taken butane into the bunker to make the hash oil , investigators said. Later that day, he was digging in the bunker with the boy and a 22-year-old man.

“Once they were in the bunker, Williams planned to light a marijuana cigarette,” officials stated. “A spark ignited the gas in the air causing a flashover event that severely burned all three of them.”

All three have since been released from the hospital.

Williams is facing felony charges, including child abuse, assault, arson and extraction of marijuana concentrate.

Williams was booked at the Larimer County Jail on Thursday and bonded out on Saturday.