SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The suspect in last week’s deadly explosion and fire at a home in San Francisco’s Sunset District will be released under home detention with a GPS monitoring device, a judge ruled Friday. Darron Price, 53, is being charged with multiple felonies, all in connection with the home explosion that left his 51-year-old wife dead and another person in critical condition.
At a Friday morning arraignment, a judge said he was criminally careless but does not need to be detained. He has to find a place to live within 50 miles of the court, the judge ruled. He’s been ordered to surrender his passport, which is believed likely to have burned in the fire.
Price, who has dual U.S. and Australian citizenship, came to the U.S. at 17. He is facing multiple charges including involuntary manslaughter, manufacturing a controlled substance, four counts of reckless burning, two counts of child endangerment and one count of elder abuse. The explosion last week happened on 22nd Avenue in the Sunset District.
Price’s home was completely destroyed in the blast and two neighboring homes were severely damaged. Windows up and down the block were blown out as a result. He is prohibited from researching or having anything to do with the kinds of equipment and materials thought to have caused the explosion.
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Investigators say they recovered butane tanks, ovens and other materials consistent with processing hash oil. One jar of the suspected product was tested and contained acetone along with other dangerous flammable solvents.
In court Friday, it was determined that the explosion was caused by a butane system and hash oil. Price’s wife’s caregiver went to start a dryer that was set up next to the system. The caregiver said she had a headache and dizziness prior to turning on the dryer. When she did activate the device, it triggered the explosion.
Price’s neighbors say they believe the equipment was brought in and installed about six months ago. They believe they saw a group of men helping Price bring in the equipment, which is illegal to have in a home. Among Price’s other violations, he reportedly ignored SF fire codes and exposed his kids, wife and neighbors to potential harm.
He was found to have posted online about looking for this kind of system, which he may have acquired from behind a dispensary. Price has been married for 9 years and the two kids who lived at the home are his stepchildren.
He is next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 24.