(FOX/ CNS) A 31-year-old man hospitalized following an explosion in a Dana Point garage is suspected of accidentally sparking the blast in a pot-extracting lab, a sheriff's lieutenant said today.
Investigators found a dead dog, marijuana and butane in the garage following the explosion, Orange County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said.
Investigators suspect the man, whose name was not released, was using the butane to extract THC, the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, Hallock said.
The blast in a garage in the 26800 block of Vista del Mar occurred about noon and started a fire that spread to some trees, a studio apartment, a condominium complex and an apartment complex, firefighters said.
The damage estimate to the structures and contents is about $270,000, Hallock said.
Marijuana concentrates, known as "wax," are made by stuffing pot into a tube then discharging cans of butane through it. Once the gas evaporates, it leaves behind a sticky, honey-colored substance high in THC content. An explosive trend KTTV explored in a special report back in May.
Orange County bomb squads have investigated at least a half-dozen butane explosions related to THC extraction over the past 18 months, the Orange County Register reported.
The injured man suffered serious burns to his face, chest, arms and legs, Hallock said. He has not been arrested so far, the lieutenant added.
Anyone with more information was asked to call investigators at (714) 647-7000, or anonymous tips may be made by calling Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.