KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The hallucinogenic drug PCP is suspected to be the cause of Saturday's explosion inside a home at 29th and Olive. According to police a man inside the home told officers he was smoking what he called "wet", a slang term for PCP, when the blast happened.
Police say if that's true, they put a lot of people in danger, first and foremost himself and first responders.
The explosion happened around 5 p.m. on Saturday. Kansas City firefighters and four Kansas City police officers forced their way into the home to help any victims inside.
Sergeant James Schulte was one of them.
"As we got to the top of the stairs, there was a haze of white smoke that had a strange odor to it, as well as burning. It smelled very chemically," Sgt. Schulte described.
Like many of the situations to which they respond, officers were unaware of what they were walking into.
"A gentleman with no shirt on, walking to the top of the stairs, appeared to be dazed and confused," Sgt. Schulte said.
Sgt. Schulte called this situation one that was unlike any he's experienced in his 14 years on the force.
"Haze is about shoulder-high. Our heads were above it, but you know, you are taking it in," he said.
As first responders backed out, victim in tow, the effects were almost immediate.
"More of an intoxicating effect. Once it started to kick in I knew, you're not right," Schulte said.
The four officers who had entered the home had on no masks, and only the gear on their belt. All four were taken to the hospital and treated for possible exposure to PCP.
"We're typically running to scenarios and into scenarios that typical people would run from," Sgt. Schulte said.
While he says it's just part of the job, he has a message for people putting themselves and others in compromising and dangerous situations.
"It is disappointing that people take only their own benefit into their consideration, considering all the impact they can have on all the people around them, including the first responders coming to render aid in those situations," he said.
The officers spent an hour at the hospital and were released. The man inside the home was also treated and released. Police booked him into jail, but released him while police continue to investigate.