Hash Oil Operation Causes Explosion in Mira Mesa Home

Officials found 100 butane cylinders outside of the home and equipment to make hash oil inside the home

Three people were injured Sunday when a San Diego home exploded, revealing a hash oil operation, the San Diego Police Department confirmed.

The two-story home on Sunny Meadow Street burst into flames around 6 p.m. The neighborhood is located north of Mira Mesa Boulevard between Interstates 15 and 805. 

Two people suffered severe burn injuries and one person suffered less severe burn injuries, officials said. 

Hours into their investigation, an SDFD fire chief said equipment to make hash oil was found inside the home and about 100 butane cylinders were found outside of the home. 

Hash oil, also known as honey oil, is a concentrated resin extracted from cannabis. Many extraction methods involve butane or ethanol.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has taken over the investigation of the incident, which it described as a large-scale, very sophisticated hash oil operation.

The DEA said the fire originated in the home's garage, where the extraction lab was located. 

NBC 7

Neighbor John Nothdurft was one of the first people who ran outside and helped a victim.

"I heard a big boom so I ran outside and I saw the first guy running through the streets," Nothdurft said. "His clothes were still on fire."

Nothdurft said he ran inside to get the man some water. Other neighbors were seen spraying the man with a garden hose as he sat on the sidewalk.

Another neighbor told NBC 7 she heard two or three people screaming as if they were being tortured.

Deputy Fire Chief Kelly Zombro said the fire spread quickly. 

"It's significant enough that we have three victims that were burnt. They weren't able to get out of the structure quick enough, so you have to assume that the fire was moving pretty quickly from the very beginning," Zombro said.

Firefighters were able to stop the spread of the fire before it reached other houses. Only one neighboring house suffered exterior damages from the heat, Zombro said.

The structure itself sustained heavy damage throughout.

The injured were transported to UC San Diego's Burn Center.

Neighbors explained they felt their houses shake but thought it might have been something normal as they live four miles north of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. 

"I thought it was a bomb when it first went off, because we live so close to Miramar and we hear booms all the time, but this one was different," said neighbor Josie Herschel. 

The home is located less than a mile from Challenger Middle School and Hickman Elementary School. 

No arrests have been made.

Contact Us