APTOS (CBS SF) — A 43-year-old man is accused of operating a butane hash oil lab in an Aptos house that sparked a fire and killed a dog Friday afternoon, a Santa Cruz County sheriff’s spokesman said.
Antonio Gallindo-Perches suffered serious injuries and is still at the hospital as of Tuesday, sheriff’s Lt. Bob Payne said.
Crews from the Aptos/La Selva Fire Protection District responded to a report of a house fire in the 300 block of Bonita Drive around 2:10 p.m. Friday, sheriff’s Lt. Bob Payne said.
Deputies were also called to the scene where they found cultivated marijuana indoors and materials to process the plants into hash oil, Payne said.
About 300 of the more than 400 butane canisters found inside the home were kept in a main storage area and were not impacted by the fire, according to Payne.
The fire could’ve traveled to the other 300 canisters and spread throughout the neighborhood, Payne said. It generated enough heat to melt a fender on a car parked on the driveway.
No other people were inside the home that was just four doors down from the fire protection district’s Station 2, the spokesman said.
Crews found a chihuahua in the residence and two other pit bulls ran away but were later found, Payne said.
A neighbor took custody of the surviving dogs, Payne said.
Deputies also found a .22-caliber GSG assault-style weapon inside the home, according to Payne.
Gallindo-Perches owned the home and it appeared he lived by himself, the spokesman said.
The case will be turned over to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office to determine if any charges will be filed against Gallindo-Perches, who has not been arrested, Payne said.
“This is the second butane hash oil lab that has caught on fire in our county in the last week. These labs are causing safety concerns and bringing risk into our neighborhoods,” Sheriff Jim Hart said in a statement.
“Any type of drug manufacturing or sales case occurring in a neighborhood that is brought to our attention will be thoroughly investigated by our detectives,” Hart said.
Santa Cruz police are investigating a hash oil explosion at a Lindberg Street apartment complex Wednesday that led to evacuations.
A 48-year-old man, who has not been identified, allegedly attempted to make butane hash oil that left significant damage to a ground-level garage and was transported to a burn unit for treatment, police said.
Officers found the man at his third-floor apartment with his wife and young child, who were not injured, according to police.
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