SAN DIEGO -- Three people were severely burned when an "extensive" marijuana processing operation at a two-story Mira Mesa home went up in flames.
Fire broke out in the garage of a house on Sunny Meadow Street near Canyon Breeze Road around 6:15 p.m. Sunday.
Three people, all in their 20s, ran out of the house suffering from severe burns, San Diego Fire-Rescue confirmed. The victims had third-degree burns covering 95 percent, 50 percent and 25 percent of their bodies, respectively, a SDFD battalion chief said.
Officials originally said they found an "extensive grow operation" set up in multiple rooms, and Hazmat was called to assist firefighters. Materials used in the operation led to the explosions and made the flames more difficult to battle, the battalion chief explained. Later, however, investigators said THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, was being extracted from the plant in a lab at the home
The fire started to spread to a home next door, but crews were able to prevent the flames from going inside the neighboring house.
Josie Hershel lives four houses down. She started to gather up her animals, because she thought they were going to be forced to evacuate after explosions shook the neighborhood.
"We heard a loud boom and it shook our house," Hershel said. "I thought it was a bomb or something ... I came outside and the home was fully engulfed in flames. They were coming out of the windows and were raging 30 feet in the air."