Man Arrested for Child Endangerment After Explosion/Fire in McKinleyville
This is a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and the individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On Saturday, April 11, 2015, at approximately 2:15 pm, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the Arcata Fire Department were dispatched to the 2200 block of Terrace Lane in McKinleyville for a reported explosion and subsequent structure fire. Upon arrival, Christopher Newcomb (Age 25), was contacted while attempting to extinguish a fire in the garage area of the residence with a water hose. The Arcata Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire.
Newcomb told a Sheriff’s Deputy that he and another identified male subject were making hash inside the garage area of the residence, utilizing a butane extraction method, when fumes from the butane exploded. A door leading from the kitchen area into the garage was open, and a 16 year old juvenile was standing in the doorway. In the living room area, was an adult female, a 14 year old female, and an infant child. Flames from the explosion entered the kitchen and living room area from the open doorway. The intensity of the fire was so hot that it melted the blinds in the living room and kitchen windows. The 16 year old male juvenile received minor burns and declined medical treatment. The 14 year old juvenile female was uninjured and declined medical attention. The adult female, the infant, and the adult male fled the residence prior to law enforcements arrival and were reported uninjured. Newcomb received minor burns as a result of the explosion, but declined medical attention.
Humboldt County Drug Task Force personnel were summoned to the scene and conducted an investigation. Agents obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant. During a search of the residence, agents located and seized approximately 109 pounds of marijuana, concentrated cannabis, 12 tubes used in the hash extraction process, a vacuum dehumidifier, a handgun, a shotgun, a rifle, and US Currency. Agents also observed hundreds of empty canisters of butane inside and outside of the residence.
Newcomb was arrested for felony child endangerment, and possession of clandestine laboratory narcotic equipment. He was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, and his bail was set at $500,000.00. Agents will be seeking charges against the adult male who fled the scene.
The Humboldt County Drug Task Force would like to remind everyone of the dangers involved in the chemical butane hash extraction process. This process can lead to explosions, fire, and fatal injuries to those involved and in the nearby areas.
Anyone with information for the Humboldt County Drug Task Force Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force Office at 707-444-8095.
Earlier Chapter: Residential Fire in McKinleyville