Suspected drug related explosion causes damage to apartment
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — A suspected small honey oil lab, a substance made from marijuana plants, caused a minor explosion that blew out the windows of an apartment in a small complex Tuesday night on Larch Avenue near Pioneer Trail.
“I see the windows start inflating like balloons and then before you know it they burst, ‘pop! Boom!’ I run to the street and once I looked back everybody was outside,” said Erick Lopez, who lives directly above the apartment where the explosion occurred.
Lopez was standing by a tree with his dog about 15 feet in front of the window when the explosion occurred at about 8:30 p.m. He sustained minor scratches on his face from the flying glass. He was the only one outside when the explosion occurred.
“It sounded like they threw a grenade in there,” Lopez said.
The South Lake Tahoe fire and police departments responded simultaneous to the call, but the investigation was later turned over to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office SLEDNET unit, after first responders found evidence of honey oil production, including butane gas containers, EDSO Sgt. Tasha Thompson said Wednesday.
Thompson said it did not appear anyone outside of the apartment was injured.
Police are searching for two men in connection to the explosion.
Lopez said two men ran out of the apartment moments after the explosion and had not returned as of Wednesday morning.
Authorities asked area hospitals to report any injuries that may have been caused by the explosion, but none had been reported as of Wednesday morning, Thompson said. It was unclear if the two men were injured in the explosion, though it was possible.
At the scene, a two-man cleanup crew was picking up shattered glass scattered all over the common area of the small complex. Two large side-by-side windows at the front of the apartment had been blown out and the window frames were damaged. Out back, at least one window had been boarded up. Inside, at least one butane gas container was visible from the window.
Thompson could not comment on whether any drugs were recovered from the scene.
The investigation is ongoing, Thompson said.
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