Sun, Jul

California Dept. Of Cannabis Control Says Suspect In Fatal Blast Had No Manufacturing License

420 FILE

420 FILE - San Francisco police said Sunday that the Arson Task Force continued working over the weekend to process the scene of a fatal blast and fire that investigators say was an illegal drug manufacturing site in the city's residential Sunset District.

"They are still sifting through all of the evidence and we at this point have not confirmed the way this explosion may have occurred," said officer Robert Rueca, a San Francisco Police Department spokesman.

Police say the suspect, 53-year-old Darron Price, was arrested about 4:30 p.m. Friday evening and booked into the San Francisco County jail about 7:30 p.m., one day after the blast. Jail records show Price was booked on multiple charges including drug manufacturing, involuntary manslaughter, reckless arson, and two counts of child endangerment.

One woman, the suspect's wife who neighbors say was disabled, did not make it out of the burning house. Neighbors say the two children were not at home at the time. 

Police say another woman, possibly a caretaker, who received burn injuries was still hospitalized on Sunday.

Security camera video from a neighboring home shows the force of Thursday's blast, that blew out the garage door of the suspect's home on the 1700 block of 22nd Avenue in San Francisco.

The Arson Task Force removed large cylindrical tanks from the house after the blast, resembling tanks used to refine cannabis products.

We checked with the California Department of Cannabis Control which monitors cannabis manufacturing.

"There are no licensed cannabis operations, including manufacturing, at this address or in this neighborhood. Due to their typical disregard for safety regulations, illegal cannabis manufacturing can be extremely dangerous...The DCC encourages people to report unlicensed cannabis operations on our website," said David Hafner, a spokesman for the Department of Cannabis Control.

Hafner also said all tips can be sent to their office on the Department of Cannabis Control website can be made anonymously.

San Francisco Police say they're still investigating the suspect's past.

"We are not seeing any issues with that location from prior calls for service," said Officer Rueca.

KTVU put in a request with Price at the San Francisco County jail Sunday, but he declined an interview.

Police say they are working with Child Protective Services to provide care and support for the two children who lived in the suspect's house.

(Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Jana at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana or ktvu.com.)