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Review: Pot Lab Suspected in Capo Beach Garage Explosion

Originally posted by Peter Schelden (Editor) November 05, 2013 at 05:44 PM

Investigators think a THC extraction lab may have caused the garage explosion that seriously injured one man in Capo Beach around noon Tuesday.

A 31-year-old man was hospitalized with serious injuries and a bulldog was killed by the blast on the 26800 block of Vista Del Mar.

Witnesses said the explosion blew a fireball into the air and caused a concussive blast, knocking windows off of neighboring houses and blowing the garage door through the neighbor's chain link fence. See photos, above.

While searching for other possible explosives, Orange County ProAct investigators found preliminary evidence of THC extraction, used to make hashish and oils of concentrated marijuana, Orange County Sheriff's Dept. Lt. Jeff Hallock said. 

Butane is used in the process, Hallock said. Earlier reports indicated butane and propane were present and that the family impacted owned a catering company.

Nearby residents were evacuated. A single-story house, an attached studio apartment and two other nearby apartments were damaged, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said. 

The fire was under control by 12:47 p.m., he said, but was still smoldering at 4 p.m.

The Red Cross is assisting five displaced families, Concialdi said.

It is unknown whether the injured man lived at the residence, Hallock said.

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