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Man faces charges after Forest Grove house explosion

by: COURTESY OF THE FOREST GROVE POLICE DEPARTMENT - Investigators using hazmat suits checked the C Street house where an explosion burned one man and sent two small children to the hospital for evaluation Monday night. The man will be arraigned Tuesday, March 5, on several charges related to the explosion.A 22-year-old Forest Grove man will be arraigned Tuesday afternoon on several charges after an explosion Monday night damaged a C Street house.

Forest Grove police said Bernard Frank Heflin has been charged with manufacturing a controlled substance-marijuana and two counts each of reckless endangering, first-degree child neglect, endangering the welfare of a minor and first-degree criminal mistreatment.

Heflin was lodged in the Washington County Jail after treatment for burns he received in the explosion.

Two women and two small children who also lived in the house were evaluated at a local hospital and released after the explosion. The children were a 10-day-old infant and a 20-month-old child.

Forest Grove police said the explosion happened at about 9:14 p.m. March 4 at the house, 1908 C St. Police and firefighters responded after several people reported hearing a loud boom and a man running down the street screaming that he had been burned.

When police found the man, he claimed to be cooking eggs when the explosion occurred. Later, police said the man admitted that he was cooking hashish oil using butane as a solvent.

Forest Grove police obtained a search warrant, and, with assistance from the Washington County Inter-Agency Narcotics Team, entered the home to investigate the scene and recover evidence. Officers found significant damage to the structure inside.

Police are working with the state Department of Human Services to ensure the safety of the children in the home.