Hash Oil Lab Explodes in Santa Barbara County, Lighting Shed on Fire and Burning Man: Sheriff
What authorities believe was a drug lab producing hash oil in Santa Barbara County went up in flames early Thursday morning, leaving a man seriously burned, according to sheriff’s officials.
The injured 57-year-old man is believed to have been extracting hash oil inside a detached shed that’s part of a home in Lompoc, located in the 3900 block of Marion Ct., the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. An explosion and fire was reported at the residence around 2:45 a.m.
As he remains hospitalized, the man’s current condition is not known. Officials said his identity is not being released as the investigation continues.
The shed was on fire when sheriff’s deputies arrived, the department said, while the man’s spouse managed to escape the flames without injury.
Detectives believe he made an error while producing the hash oil, causing an explosion that was felt up to half a mile away — in a residential area known as Vandenberg Village, sheriff’s officials said.
The entire shed exploded, damaging the home and a neighboring structure as a fire formed, officials said.
Later, in the afternoon, investigators served a search warrant that uncovered “a large amount of processed marijuana, hash oil and other forms of concentrated cannabis,” the Sheriff’s Office news release states.
Photographs released by the department show about 25 glass jars filled with marijuana buds, at least a dozen glass trays stained with tarry, black and yellowish hash oil and cans of butane.
In the release, officials describe the process of producing hash oil as not only illegal but “highly flammable” and “extremely dangerous.”
“In this case, it put not only the people living inside the home at risk, but also the surrounding neighborhood and nearby elementary school,” the news release states.
Officials said anonymous tips about potential drugs labs can be given to the Sheriff’s Office by dialing 805-681-4171 or visiting the agency’s website at https://www.sbsheriff.org/home/anonymous-tip/.