Hash Oil Led to Apartment Explosion in North Park

Witnesses say they heard an explosion before the fire started

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 7's Matt Rascon reports on an explosion and fire in a North Park apartment complex that firefighters say was caused by a drug operation. Ed. Note: The initial location was reported as University Heights. (Published Monday, Mar 10, 2014)

    Manufacturing hash oil caused an explosion inside a San Diego apartment that trapped at least one woman on her balcony, officials said.

    "I heard this boom and the building shaked," North Park resident Juliano Queiroz described what happened moments before fire broke out around 6:15 p.m. at the Suncrest Villas apartment complex.

    Thick gray smoke could be seen pouring from the top floor of the building located at 30th Street and Suncrest Drive.

    "Come outside and you could see huge plumes of smoke," said witness Chris Ross.

    Queiroz and other residents rushed to retrieve their personal belongings. 

    "I just ran back to my place, got my passport, my documents, my car keys and left," he said.  

    The entire third floor of the building sustained smoke damage, according to the San Diego Fire Department.

    Fire investigators said the explosion was caused by a butane explosion during hash oil extraction.

    A section of a refrigerator was launched from the unit affected onto the yard below the apartment unit.

    A man and a woman were handcuffed and put into police cars.

    The fire closed Suncrest Drive for hours.

    Officials say at least six residents have asked the Red Cross for assistance.

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