A Fremont man in his early 20s and a female juvenile were hospitalized Friday after a drug lab explosion, police said.
According to the Fremont Police Department, officers responded to a home on Canfield Drive to investigate a report of an explosion. The home was known to authorities for previous drug use and probation violations, police said.
Police said the male victim was attempting to extract hash oil — a thick yellow-orange marijuana byproduct commonly known as honey oil or dab — using butane canisters in a closed room. The same room housed the home’s water heater.
Investigators believe the flame from the water heater ignited the butane gas, causing an explosion.
The male victim suffered major burns and was transported to a local trauma center. His status was unknown Tuesday afternoon. The female victim suffered minor burns and was also taken to a hospital for treatment.
The Southern Alameda County Major Crimes Taskforce has taken over the investigation.
No arrests have been made and no criminal charges have yet been filed in the case, according to Fremont police.
The Fremont case is the latest in a series of hash oil fires in the Bay Area.
Hash oil rising in popularity
According to SFGate, three men were burned while making hash oil in a storage room of a Santa Cruz apartment on Sept. 29. A man and three dogs were also burned during another hash oil explosion, also in Santa Cruz, on Oct. 9.
In May 2011, a man died from wounds suffered during a hash oil explosion in Livermore. Two of his friends were arrested and charged with his murder but later accepted plea deals for lesser charges, SFGate reports.
Though it’s not a new drug, according to Wired, the use of hash oil has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its intense high, lack of smell and portability; hash oil can be smoked using vaporizers.
The explosions and use of hash oil aren’t local phenomena.
In February, FEMA posted an alert on its website warning about the rise of hash oil fires and explosions across the country. FEMA said the cases could be misidentified as pipe bomb or meth lab explosions and called on law enforcement agencies to receive training to identify the items used in hash oil extraction.