Preliminary investigations revealed the cause of the explosion and fire was related to a butane honey oil hash extraction lab operation (BHO), which was taking place at the residence. DTF Agents served a search warrant and located a tank which held 100 lbs of butane, which was being used in the production of the BHO, a semi-automatic shotgun, 20 lbs of concentrated cannabis (BHO), 60 lbs of marijuana shake, 5 lbs of dried marijuana bud, digital scales, a commercial grade vacuum oven, and 117 growing marijuana plants.
Agents determined through interviews and physical evidence, that the cause of the explosion was likely a gas leak which caused butane to leak into the residence and ignite when a vacuum pump turned on. The gas leak was likely caused by failing of a weld on the equipment from the BHO production. The male subject attempted to mitigate the leak, but was unsuccessful. The primary resident was out of town at the time of the incident.
Criminal charges are expected and the investigation is ongoing.
On Wednesday, January 20, 2016, at about 9:30 p.m. Humboldt Bay Fire Company requested Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office respond to the 3800 block of D Street, Eureka, for a possible hash lab explosion. A 24 year old male was in the residence at the time of the explosion and was transported to a local hospital for his injuries prior to the deputies’ arrival. Deputies investigated the residence and located equipment commonly used in hash labs. The Drug Task Force was called and a search warrant was served.
Three dogs were found on scene and Animal Control responded and transported the dogs to the Humboldt County Animal Shelter. The dogs were not injured during the explosion.
The male subject was later flown to a hospital out of the area for further treatment of his injuries which consisted mostly of burns. No other structures were impacted by this explosion.
This incident is currently under investigation. Updated press releases will be issued.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.