MANLIUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — One man was seriously hurt and his dog was killed in a propane explosion inside a medical marijuana grow operation at a storage facility in Allegan County.
The explosion was reported around 9 a.m. Thursday at Storage Unlimited, a storage facility located in the 3300 block of 60th Street in Manlius Township, east of Saugatuck.
Michigan State Police say it appears to be a propane explosion that happened inside a medical marijuana grow operation which was inside two of the units.
About three or four storage units were completely flattened and debris was scattered hundreds of yards away.
Police believe the grow operation was legal. A drug enforcement team is on scene checking to make sure everything was in compliance.
MSP said a man in his mid-50’s was at a storage unit he rents on the property with his dog when the explosion happened. His dog died in the explosion and he was hospitalized with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
The unit he was at was unrelated to the marijuana grow operation, according to police.
One resident who lives 13 miles away said he heard the explosion and it shook the house.
The man who rented the building that exploded wouldn’t give his name, but the owner of the facility identified him as Kristopher TenHarmsel.
TenHarmsel told 24 Hour News 8 he was growing medical marijuana and that it was “fully legal.” He said he has been growing it for a few years. He said he rented the storage unit because it was “nicer to keep it out of neighborhoods.”
The explosion “cleaned me out,” he said, including his equipment and plants.
He said he believes the explosion was caused by a heater malfunction. He heated with propane and kept the tank inside, he said.
It was believed that the explosion caused a small fire, but MSP says there was never actually a fire, just a flash explosion.
Police are flying a drone over the property to survey the damage. They did receive reports of shattered windows at the neighborhood behind the storage facility’s property.