Sacto 9-1-1
April 1, 2010
Placer sheriff: Apartment explosion involved hashish lab

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

Placer County authorities are investigating an explosion at an Auburn apartment complex earlier this week that they said appears to have been caused by a clandestine hashish laboratory set up in a bathroom.

The four occupants of the apartment unit where the explosion occured received non-life-threatening burns and have been treated, Lt. Jeff Ausnow, spokesman for the Placer County Sheriff's Department, said today. Residents in surrounding units were evacuated but not injured.

Authorities responded to the complex on Gateway Court about 9 p.m. Tuesday after hearing reports of an explosion. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, which was contained to the unit where the lab was located.

Sheriff's detectives and officials from the state Department of Justice are investigating the lab, where hashish was being extracted from marijuana plants, Ausnow said.

The explosion appears to have been fueled by flammable fumes - including butane - used in the process, Ausnow said.

No arrests have been made as detectives continue their investigation, he said.

However, Ausnow said the four occupants could face felony charges of manufacturing a controlled substance.

Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038.

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