Following a fatal explosion and fire Thursday at a house in San Francisco’s Sunset District that authorities claimed was being used as an underground drug lab, a suspect has been brought into custody.
San Francisco police identified the culprit as 53-year-old Darron Price. Around 4:30 p.m. on Friday, members of the department’s arson task team arrested him on the unit block of Newhall Street, in an industrial neighborhood of the city’s India Basin region. According to a police source who spoke to KPIX, the suspect surrendered after being approached by detectives.
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Price was arrested and lodged in the San Francisco County Jail on suspicion of producing drugs, involuntary manslaughter, and two counts of endangering children.
The explosion and fire that broke out in a house in the 1700 block of 22nd Avenue early on Thursday morning claimed one person’s life and hurt two others, one of whom was a firefighter.
The two surrounding residences on either side of the explosion were severely damaged by fire, which also broke several close windows. The entire house gave way beneath itself. Homes on the same block were evacuated due to the explosion and fire, and shelter-in-place orders were also issued.
Police claimed that as detectives dug through the debris, they found signs of what might have been a drug production operation. The property was located to have an operational illicit narcotics manufacturing lab, according to a news release from the police.
Police stated that they were still looking into the victim’s death. A police source noted that the deceased person discovered inside the house was a woman whose caretaker may have started the dryer while starting a load of washing, which may have caused the explosion. Additionally, the insider informed KPIX that authorities believe someone at the house may have been producing hash oil.
Police evidence gathered from the demolished residence on Friday morning prompted a hazardous materials emergency in Daly City. According to fire investigators, the driver of a truck carrying the evidence noticed a gas smell, pulled over to look, and then dialed 911 while traveling south on Junipero Serra Blvd.
In the vicinity of the Daly City station, Junipero Serra was closed from West Lake to John Daly Boulevard due to the police cordoning off the area and the fire department’s dispatch of hazmat situation units. For several hours, the incident prevented BART from operating on the Peninsula. Later, the police verified that the automobile was transporting evidence from the explosion and fire on Thursday.