A 22-year-old man suffered severe burns when a Sebastopol-area mobile home in which he was staying exploded and went up in flames Saturday, authorities said.
The explosion is under investigation as being related to drug production, perhaps the manufacture of hash oil, in which volatile chemical solvents are used to separate potent resins from marijuana plant parts, Sonoma County Sheriff's Sgt. Vance Eaton said.
If true, it would be the second such incident within a week. On Tuesday night, suspected hash oil manufacturing sparked an explosion at a house on Santa Rosa's Morgan Street, prompting one arrest.
Saturday's fire, reported at 11:38 a.m., destroyed a Hutchins Avenue mobile home occupied by an elderly, disabled man who appeared to be unaware of any questionable activity in his home, Eaton said.
The resident, who was uninjured, described the younger man as "a house guest," though the precise circumstances were unclear, Eaton said.
The injured man had "at least second-degree burns" on his face, chest, arms and hands, indicating "he was right at the point of contact" for the flash explosion, Eaton said.
The older man "seemed appropriately distraught and upset by the whole event," Eaton said.
The fire gutted the mobile home, which collapsed and was a complete loss.
The injured man, whose name was not released, was taken to nearby Palm Drive Hospital for treatment before he was airlifted to the St. Francis Burn Center in San Francisco.
By MARY CALLAHAN
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Published: Saturday, November 12, 2011
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