SANTA ROSA (KRON) — A Butane Hash Oil Lab caught on fire in Santa Rosa on Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday at approximately 3:41 p.m., the Santa Rosa Police and Fire Departments responded to a commercial structure fire at 3158 Condo Court in Northwest Santa Rosa.
The building is identified as A-1 Top Quality Painting and consists of office space in the front and warehouse space in the back. The building is located next door to North Valley School, which was occupied by staff but no students were present at the time of the fire.
Emergency crews arrived to find the two-story building on fire. The fire department forced their way into the building and extinguished the fire, which burned both the lower and upper floors.
Once crews had the blaze under control, firefighters discovered the warehouse was an active Butane Hash Oil Lab. Butane is a volatile solvent capable of extracting THC compounds from marijuana. The resulting product is known as concentrated cannabis. Butane extraction processes are highly flammable.
Police and fire investigators began an investigation into the case of the fire. Officials discovered an elaborate concentrated cannabis manufacturing operation.
Large quantities of marijuana and concentrated cannabis were located throughout the site. An extraction processing area, located on the first floor of the building, appears to be where the fire started.
Investigators could tell the fire suppression efforts took place within the building, before the fire department arrived. Several fire extinguishers had been exhausted and discarded throughout the building. However, anyone related to the building, or involved in trying to fight the fire, fled the area before the arrival of emergency crews.
The Santa Rosa Police Department said firefighters experienced several challenges while fighting the fire.
The damages from the fire exceed $200,000. Due to the damage and risk of conducting the investigation, the scene was secured overnight by law enforcement.
Detectives began their collection of evidence early the next morning at daybreak.
According to Santa Rosa Police Department, it is possible those involved in fighting the fire, before emergency crews arrived, were inured or burned.
The Santa Rosa Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying those working in, or being responsible for the building of A-1 Top Quality Painting.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Narcotics Unit at 707-543-4175.