3 Steamboat Springs teens injured in explosion released from hospital

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— Two teenage boys injured in an explosion Thursday evening at a Steamboat Springs condo have been released from Yampa Valley Medical Center, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Police said a teenage girl who was inside the condo also was taken to the hospital and released soon after.

A more seriously injured 17-year-old boy was flown to a Denver-area hospital, according to emergency responders, but his condition was unavailable Friday evening.

The Steamboat Springs Police Department on Friday was continuing its investigation into what caused the explosion. Police think a marijuana concentrate called ear wax was being made inside the condo with butane, and the butane ignited. The force of the blast shook the building and shattered and knocked out windows.

“It’s amazing the building didn’t catch fire and those kids weren’t killed,” Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue Chief Mel Stewart said Friday.

Water from a sprinkler inside the condo caused damage to other units in the building.

Police are investigating whether to pursue criminal charges. Deputy Police Chief Bob DelValle stated in a search warrant that the owners of the condo at The Pines Condominiums, Christopher and Donna Slater, refused to allow officers to search the condo, so police got a search warrant. Their 18-year-old son, Zachary Slater, was living at the condo. He was one of the teens released from YVMC.

No phone number was listed for the Slaters.

Police executed the search warrant Friday. According to the warrant inventory, police seized four bottles of butane, cooking supplies and marijuana. Police think the condo's occupants might have committed arson by acting recklessly and causing an explosion, according to the warrant. It also states it is illegal to manufacture marijuana concentrate.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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