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Official Raises Red Flag on Home Drug Labs as Suspect Arrested in SF Explosion

Written by Matthew KupferPublished Feb. 11, 2023 • 10:24am
The San Francisco Fire Department sprays water into the home that collapsed a result of an explosion and subsequent fire. | Michaela Vatcheva for The Standard

Police have arrested a suspect in connection with an explosion that killed one person and demolished a house in San Francisco’s Sunset District. 

Officials determined that an "active illegal narcotics manufacturing lab" was located in the residence where the explosion took place on Thursday.

Supervisor Joel Engardio, who represents the neighborhood, says the incident draws attention to another aspect of San Francisco’s drug crisis: the dangers posed by drug labs.

“Dangerous manufacturing of drugs that blows up a house and causes death and mayhem in a neighborhood is as serious as dealing deadly fentanyl in an open air drug market,” he said in a statement. “Both crimes should be prosecuted in San Francisco.”

Late Friday evening, police booked 53-year-old Darron Price on charges of manslaughter, manufacturing controlled substances and two counts of child endangerment in connection with the explosion.

The blast, which erupted Thursday morning at a house on 22nd Avenue between Noriega and Moraga streets, sparked a fire that spread to two nearby homes. 

One person was found dead in the rubble after the fire was extinguished, while another was seriously burned. A firefighter sustained minor injuries, fire officials said.

The explosion also left at least three homes uninhabitable and blew out windows across the street, Engardio said on Twitter.

“It’s hard to say how widespread drug manufacturing is in residential neighborhoods, but the explosion on a quiet Sunset street means it could be anywhere,” Engardio told The Standard in a message.

He plans to hold a closed town hall for residents of 22nd Avenue on Wednesday, Feb. 15. 

Correction: A previous version of this article used information from the SF Sheriff's Inmate Locator that incorrectly stated Price had been charged with an offense relating to the manufacturing of PCP.

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