Drug Lab Explodes In The Middle Of A Denver Homeless Encampment

(Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
Font Size:

A drug lab located in a Denver homeless encampment exploded, according to CBS4.

Denver Public Safety Manager Murphy Robinson said propane tanks used in the creation of the drugs exploded, causing a fire at the encampment, CBS4 reported. There were 30 propane tanks found on the premises. He reportedly signed an executive order Saturday to clear the encampment.

“Propane tanks were on the scene and started to blow up. No one was hurt and that is of the grace of God,” Robinson told CBS4. “Evidence points to some type of drug lab, whether it was hash oil or a meth lab, we are unsure at this time.” (RELATED: City In California Pays Homeless People Gift Cards To Clean Their Tents)

The blaze spurred fear that several city blocks could be engulfed in flames. Robinson signed the order to clear the homeless camp Saturday despite a court order that requires 48 hours notice before clearing a homeless camp — even if there is a drug lab on fire inside — CBS4 reported.

The court denied the city’s requests for an emergency exception, according to CBS4. Robinson hopes the court will change its ruling after the fact, as he now could be cited by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals for taking action. Robinson said the court’s decision “shows a clear lack of understanding as these orders were put out by judiciary,” CBS4 reported.

“This time we were lucky, next time we could be talking about how we dealt with the loss of life,” Robinson said, according to CBS4. “That is unacceptable to me and have to find a better solution.”

Robinson said the city offered those further displaced by the fire housing, but only one resident of the camp obliged, CBS4 reported. The city also salvaged any belongings of the homeless they could and put them into storage.