GOLETA, Calif. - Investigators said the Goleta apartment explosion and fire Monday night was caused by the illegal process of making butane honey oil.
Neighbors of the apartment building on 447 Ellwood Beach Drive said they never expected something like that to happen there.
"I'm glad I wasn't here because it could have been worse. We could have gotten blown up," said Naomi Cortez.
Cortez and her daughter Hannah Alvarez live below the apartment that exploded and blew out windows.
"I couldn't sleep because I was just shocked," said Alvarez.
A man they know as Antonio was rushed to the hospital after a gas explosion.
"This is a process that's used to extract oils from marijuana plants to create hash oil. And so in doing that process, you use butane. And so the butane gas is what actually ignited and caused the explosion," said Capt. David Sadecki of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Cortez said the investigators told her among the charred belongings that now sit in a dumpster, they found something else.
"They were just investigating, checking stuff out, taking pictures, and said they found pounds of weed in his house," she said.
"I wasn't expecting him. He's a really quite guy. He's really nice. He keeps to himself. I wouldn't expect him to do that," said Alvarez.
The mother and daughter told NewsChannel 3 their neighbor is now at the UCLA medical center for treatment to his third-degree burns he sustained during the flash fire caused by the explosion.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's officials said charges are pending until the investigation is over.27100658