East Village Explosion Caused By Hash Oil Extraction

By Lauren Lee
|  Friday, Jan 3, 2014  |  Updated 7:15 PM PDT
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An explosion and fire in an East Village apartment building on Thursday was caused by someone making a hash oil extraction using butane. NBC7's Lauren Lee has more.

An explosion and fire in an East Village apartment building on Thursday was caused by someone making a hash oil extraction using butane. NBC7's Lauren Lee has more.

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East Village Fire Prompts Evacuations

An explosion in East Village gave residents a scare on Thursday night as a two-alarm fire caused a building evacuation at 900 F St. NBC7's Danya Bacchus reports.
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An explosion in East Village on Thursday night that caused nearly $1 million in damage was caused by someone making hash oil, according to the DEA, which is calling it a dangerous trend in San Diego.

The DEA says last year, they busted 35 drug labs like the one at the apartment building, nearly half of them resulting in explosions.

DEA spokeswoman Amy Roderick says making hash oil is illegal in California and using butane to convert marijuana to hash oil is extremely dangerous because of improper ventilation.

 “This is obviously a trend, a very upsetting trend in San Diego county,” she said. “Along with us educating law enforcement about it, were trying to educate the public.”

In many of the cases they've seen, people were making hash oil in small spaces like apartments or hotel rooms. Once something ignites, like a lighter or a stove, it can easily explode.

"These people are doing this in a very small, confined space so when you light a lighter or cook something or something sparks like a gas stove and something ignites, kaboom," Roderick said.

The explosion in East Village occurred on the third floor, and a fire quickly spread and damaged six units. One person was severely burned and several residents were evacuated.

Roderick says many suffer from severe burns that last for the rest of their lives.

She says to contact police if you see any suspicious activity such as several cases of butane in a dumpster or if you smell something suspicious.

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