See £10k fire damage caused by 'stupid' cannabis grower who lit cigarette after using gas

A "stupid" cannabis grower sparked a £10,000 blaze at his family home after he used a flammable gas to process the drugs - then lit a cigarette which went "bang".

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 5:30 pm

Jordan Blakey suffered extensive burns to his arms after he used butane to extract cannabis oil then decided to have a smoke.

Newcastle Crown Court heard his bedroom at the house at The Oval, Washington, ended up "100 percent damaged by fire" and he was "very lucky" to get out.

The other upstairs rooms were 50 percent destroyed by fire and were left 100 per cent smoke damaged.

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Jordan Blakey, inset, and the damage caused by the fire.

The stairs were also badly damaged by fire and smoke, meaning anyone on the upper floor at the time could have been trapped.

The badly burned 25-year-old, who was "heavily under the influence of cannabis" had approached firefighters at the scene, asking to retrieve property from inside and confessed: "I'll be honest with you, I was extracting cannabis oil from the cannabis, using butane gas.

"When I finished I was stupid, didn't think, and lit a cigarette and it went bang."

The court heard Blakey's family was forced to move out of the house while the owners Gentoo carried out £10,000 worth of repairs and the rental company has ordered that he is not allowed back.

Damage costing around £10,000 to repair was caused to the property in The Oval, Washington.

Prosecutor Shaun Dodds told the court when firefighters arrived at the property on April 7 last year flames were coming out of a window.

Firefighters went inside and two small cannabis plants were found growing in an upstairs cupboard.

Mr Dodds added: "The first floor of the property was extensively damaged.

"The seat of the fire was the front bedroom to the left as you go to the top of the stairs."

Fire experts said if anyone had been one of the other upstairs bedrooms "they would not have been able to get out properly due to the intensity of the fire", which was "life threatening".

The court heard fortunately, Blakey's mother, father and niece, who lived at the property with him, were all out at the time.

Blakey pleaded guilty to arson being reckless to whether life would be endangered and producing cannabis.

Mr Recorder Mark Giuliani sentenced him to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements and said he knew there was a "risk" with using butane in the circumstances and was "heavily under the influence of cannabis" at the time.

The judge told him: "Your family had to move out of their family home and into temporary accommodation.

"Gentoo, the housing association, repaired the property at a cost to them of £10,000.

"Your family has been returned but Gentoo has forbidden you to return."

Richard Holland, defending, said Blakey, now of Hollinshill Road, Washington, has an extremely supportive family.