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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : Explosion at Suspected Meth Lab Destroys House, Ignites Brush

June 03, 1994|SHARON MOESER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LANCASTER — A wind-whipped blaze that is believed to have started when a suspected illegal methamphetamine lab exploded in a house west of Lancaster burned 130 acres of grass and brush before it was contained Thursday.

The house, near 230th Street West and Lancaster Road, also was destroyed in the fire.

"It was a drug lab, meth lab, it looked like," said Tom Little, an investigator with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. "They had an explosion down there."

The explosion shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday set the house on fire, which then set nearby brush on fire.

"We had some pretty good winds last night," Little said.

The fast-moving fire broke out in the Baldwin Canyon area of the western Antelope Valley and was contained Thursday morning. About 315 Los Angeles County firefighters and an additional 50 from the U.S. Forest Service battled the blaze.

A 30-year-old paid volunteer firefighter was injured when embers got in his eyes while he was battling the blaze, said county Fire Inspector Rick Moreno. The volunteer firefighter was treated at Antelope Valley Hospital and released.

Sheriff's deputies responding to the scene reported that a possible drug lab was in operation at the house, said Deputy Gabe Ramirez.

There was no one at the scene when deputies arrived, and no arrests have been made.

Fire crews spent much of Thursday working to extinguish hot spots in the area that burned, Moreno said.

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