Marijuana fire causes $150K in damages to North Park apartments

SAN DIEGO - A fire blamed on a hash oil-producing operation damaged two apartments in the North Park section of San Diego, causing no serious injuries but leaving around $150,000 in damage, authorities said Monday.

The fire was reported at 6:18 p.m. Sunday in a unit of a three-story apartment building at 3030 Suncrest Drive, said a San Diego Fire Department dispatcher.

The first arriving crews encountered smoke and flames coming from the apartment, the dispatcher said, adding that the fire was knocked down at 6:35 p.m. Three people were treated at the scene, but none were taken to a hospital, she said.

A second apartment in the building was damaged as a result of the fire, the dispatcher said.

Damage was estimated at $100,000 to the building and $50,000 to contents, authorities said.

No arrests were immediately reported in connection with the hash oil extraction operation, which apparently sparked  the blaze, the dispatcher said, but an investigation by the fire department's Metro Arson Strike Team was underway.

Hash oil is a concentrated liquid derived from marijuana. It is sometimes extracted with highly flammable, potentially explosive propane or butane gas. Efforts to produce hash oil have been blamed for several residential fires and burn injuries in recent years.

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