Sacto 9-1-1
October 4, 2012
Police say hashish-making operation exploded in South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe police say that an explosion during drug-making burned a man.

Barek Madden, 23, was flown to UC Davis Medical Center with third-degree burns to his face, arms and upper body. His friend, Schuyler Van Fleet, was not injured, but the explosion singed the hair on his head, eyebrows and beard.

Van Fleet was arrested on suspicion of causing a fire and operating a drug lab. Madden may also face charges, police said.

Police said the explosion and resulting fire occurred about 3 p.m. Wednesday at an apartment complex at 3754 Forest Ave.

Madden lives at the complex and Van Fleet said he was there visiting his friend. Inside the apartment, evidence indicated that butane cans had exploded, police said.

Firefighters told police there were perhaps a dozen cans of butane in the apartment.

Police said that Van Fleet confessed that he had been using cans of butane to cook marijuana into hashish. Van Fleet, according to officers, said the fire started in the apartment when he was processing or "cooking" the drug.

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