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SF Gate reported that Joel Blanchard, the 65-year-old man who started a fire while smoking meth with a blowtorch near a container of gunpowder that he had been stockpiling, was slapped with 45 days in jail....Blanchard left the blowtorch on a dryer, causing a nearby container of gunpowder to explode, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
The Half Moon Bay Review reported that Blanchard left a propane torch ignited on a dryer near a camper trailer at a commercial storage yard at the 200 block of Yale Avenue where he lived, according to San Mateo County Sheriff's officials. The torch lit a container of gunpowder he was storing, causing a loud explosion and fire that led emergency officials to the scene.
Sheriff's deputies who investigated the incident said they later learned that Blanchard was under the influence of methamphetamine. During a search of his trailer, emergency officials found a loaded rifle, more gunpowder and about 300 feet of detonation cord - items that were illegal for him to possess as a former felon.