Breaking Tyneside Washington

The smallest of sparks can result in catastrophe


That the message after a firestarter caused an explosion at his family home when he lit a cigarette while producing drugs with butane gas.

Jordan Blakey was this week convicted at court after using the gas to extract oil from his home-grown cannabis plants at the address in Washington.

Our firefighters responded to the blaze last April and found the 25-year-old at the scene under the influence of drugs and with extensive burns.
He told a Watch Manager at the scene that he had been producing drugs before adding “when I finished I was stupid, I didn’t think and I lit a cigarette and it went bang”.

Our fire investigators helped gather evidence in the wreckage of the family home before handing a report over to Northumbria Police.

Their efforts helped secure a conviction against Blakey but it is a miracle that he was able to escape the blaze with his life.

Butane gas is highly flammable and the smallest of sparks can result in catastrophe. In the hands of someone who is heavily under the influence of drugs, the risk is significantly higher.

We would hope this case acts as a warning to others who try to undertake this dangerous process because ultimately it is putting lives, including their own, at risk.
A huge well done to those firefighters who responded, their Watch Manager who identified Blakey and the fire investigators who helped put the case before the court.

We will continue to work collaboratively with our partners to keep our communities safe, whether that is through prevention or enforcement activity such as this.