December 17, 2015

SCPD Investigates Butane Hash Oil Explosion in Apt. Complex

On Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at approximately 8:00 pm, Santa Cruz Police Department and Santa Cruz Fire personnel responded to an apartment complex on a report of an explosion and fire. Upon arrival, there was significant damage to a ground level garage.
Officers evacuated several people who were in nearby apartments. Santa Cruz Firefighters on the scene discovered that the explosion and fire was the result of someone in the garage trying to produce concentrated cannabis in a process known as “BHO” or Butane Hash Oil.
SCPD Officers located the suspect in the apartment located above the garage on the 3rd floor. The suspect sustained multiple burns from the blast.

The explosion sent an adult male, age 48, to a Bay Area medical center burn unit for further treatment. His name is being withheld pending the conclusion of the investigation. After the explosion, the suspect ran upstairs to his family residence. The suspect’s wife and young child were in the apartment and did not have any injuries from the explosion.
During the subsequent search in the garage and residence, officers located several items used for the manufacturing of concentrated cannabis. This type of operation is commonly referred to as a “Honey Oil” or BHO lab.
Butane Hash Oil labs are becoming a major public safety concern in our communities. Butane gas, which is highly flammable, is used in the hash oil extraction process. Santa Cruz has experienced a number of such explosions causing major injury and exposing neighborhoods to a serious safety threat.
The Santa Cruz Police Department encourages community to use extreme caution if you suspect this type of operation. If you see something suspicious, please report it to the authorities.

If anyone has any information regarding this case please call the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigation Unit at (831) 420-5820.