Crime, Fire + Courts

Drug lab causes blast, fire in Woodland garage

By From page A3 | November 24, 2013

Woodland police say it was a clandestine drug-manufacturing operation that caused an explosion and fire in a residential garage Thursday night.

The events unfolded shortly after 7:30 p.m. at 87 Utah Ave. in northern Woodland, where police and firefighters were summoned to investigate reports of an explosion and possible structure fire, Sgt. Steve Guthrie said.

“While en route, witnesses reported seeing several male subjects — one of whom was reportedly on fire — running from the house,” Guthrie said in a news release. “Upon arrival, officers and fire personnel could not locate any victims of the fire, nor did any victims report any injuries.”

A protective sweep of the house revealed that the explosion occurred in the garage, where the blaze was put out by arriving firefighters, Guthrie said. Officers also reported finding a large amount of marijuana both in the garage and in a bedroom, along with containers of butane and traces of concentrated cannabis that led to the involvement of the Yolo Narcotic Enforcement Team in the investigation.

“YONET agents determined the occupants of the house were engaged in a chemical extraction process to manufacture concentrated cannabis at the time of the explosion,” Guthrie said. “The resulting concussion from the explosion blew the garage door out, destroyed a large portion of the ceiling drywall, and blew the east and west walls away from the foundation and roof trusses.”

A Woodland building inspector deemed the house uninhabitable as a result of the damage, according to Guthrie.

Police arrested 22-year-old Lucinda Alvira Alarcon-Rodriguez on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sales and manufacturing a controlled substance through chemical extraction, both of which are felony crimes, Guthrie said.

Alarcon-Rodriguez, who was not injured in the incident, was lodged at the Yolo County Jail. Anyone with further information about this incident is asked to call the Woodland Police Department at 530-661-7800. Callers may remain anonymous.

Lauren Keene

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