Willits man badly burned in pot lab explosion

A Willits man was critically burned in a suspected illegal drug manufacturing explosion that also incinerated an outbuilding and damaged his home over the weekend, Willits police and fire officials said Monday.

David Madrigal, 38, was flown to a burn center for treatment, Willits police said.

This is the fifth suspected illegal lab explosion in the county this year, said Little Lake Volunteer Fire Department Chief Carl Magann. All of them resulted in injury, he said.

The most recent likely was caused by a process used to manufacture concentrated cannabis, police said.

Flammable solvents typically are used to concentrate THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, Magann said.

The explosion and fire occurred in an outbuilding at about 7:25 p.m. Saturday, he said.

The fire spread to the attic of the home, causing smoke damage and requiring that utilities be shut off, Magann said.

Firefighters were on scene for nearly five hours to ensure the fire was extinguished, he said.

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