Richard Delphia building

Richard Delphia’s building at Portway and Industry streets was gutted in 2016 by an explosion and fire fueled by butane gas.

A lawsuit brought by Richard Delphia — the owner of the building in Uniontown that went up in an explosion and fire in 2016 — against his former tenants has been dismissed.

The conflagration started in the basement, where Jason Oei and William West had been renting space to grow marijuana and manufacture hash oil concentrate. They subleased a space upstairs to marijuana store Sweet Relief and were financed by John Harper, owner of regional smoke shops and an investor in Sweet Relief.

Jacob Magley, a construction contractor badly burned in the blast, sued Oei, West, Delphia, Harper and Sweet Relief. He claimed Oei and West had been “dabbing” and caused the blaze. The lawsuit was later settled for an undisclosed amount.

Delphia and Hudson Specialty Insurance Co. filed suit last year against Oei, West and their companies, claiming they had violated their lease through negligence. The lawsuit also named Sweet Relief, Harper and his companies for their knowledge of the operation.

The reasons for the dismissal of Delphia’s lawsuit were not disclosed.

Oei and West, who had both filed for bankruptcy protection, had already been removed from the lawsuit, along with their companies and Harper’s companies. Lawyers for Sweet Relief blamed Delphia for not installing proper safety equipment.

The dismissal of Delphia’s lawsuit brings to a close the legal battles around the explosion.

Edward Stratton is a reporter for The Astorian. Contact him at 971-704-1719 or

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