[UPDATE 5:10 p.m.] Triplex Evacuated in McKinleyville After Explosion and Fire

Breaking NewsA duplex triplex on the 1800 block of Ocean Drive in McKinleyville is being evacuated by fire crews after a fire was reported burning in the structure. One victim is reportedly being transported by private vehicle to Mad River Hospital

“I have significant damage to the exterior walls of this structure,” reports the incident commander at 3:40 p.m. “We have major structural damage.”

UPDATE 3:55 p.m.: Law enforcement is being requested to keep a lookout for a white Chevy Silverado that was last seen headed southbound from the incident allegedly carrying the burn victim to Mad River Hospital. It did not show up.

UPDATE 3:58 p.m.: Traffic control is being provided by the CHP for Ocean Drive. Please avoid the area if possible.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: According to Marc Davis who shared the following photos with us, the fire started with an explosion. He told us, “It blew the back of one guys shirt off..The front of the shirt was intact.”

law enforcement at the scene of a Hash lab explosion

Law enforcement responding to the scene of a reputed explosion.[Photo by Marc Davis]

Firefighters trying to extinguish the result of an explosion at a private home. [Photo by Marc Davis]

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: Law enforcement has now updated their search. They are looking for a grey 2-door Dodge Dakota.

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: Marc Davis sends us this photo from the scene.

[Photo by Marc Davis]

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: Sgt. Greg Musson of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office stated that his office got a call about an explosion about 3:30 p.m. They believe the explosion may have been caused by a Butane Honey Oil (BHO) extraction lab. The Sheriff’s Office is getting a search warrant so they may examine the evidence.

Musson said that at least one victim may have fled the scene. He said that they were more concerned that the victim could be more afraid of law enforcement and possible trouble with the law than getting to a hospital and getting treatment for their injuries.

All photos below taken by photographer Mark McKenna.



  • PLEASE God help all involved ! !

    • Yeah God, please help them grow a brain and stop putting neighbors at risk for their dumb ass decisions and lack of any shred of common sense.

  • Sounds as if there has been another butane hash lab explosion.

    I base that conclusion with the word ‘explosion’ being used, and on the info given on the 4:10 update ‘that the back of his shirt was blown off and the front was intact’.

    I doubt that it was some kids Christmas present of a ‘Chemistry Set” as the source of the damages.

  • Low speed chase on 101 south 5 miles north of ukiah. Apprehended suspect in silver 2 door truck…..
    Is this whom they were looking for?

  • JustWantToHearTheEndoftheStory

    Pity the owner who the lab operators rented from, you think you’re renting to a nice couple, or family, and BAM! there goes your investment and the neighbors are lucky they weren’t hurt.

    • Lol. Barbara Benson is the owner. Crooked as the day is long. Fully aware of all of the illegal activities in these apartments…and then when good people move out, she fraudulently keeps their deposits.

  • They know who the renters are. Theses people deserves the skin grafts, infections and all the pain associated with operating a unsafe hash lab yards from where children play.

  • Regardless of the cause of the explosion. Whoever is hurt is someone’s son or daughter. Please show some respect.

    • They don’t deserve any respect. They deserve all the pain they’re getting and then some.

      • what kind of human are you? Apparently a terribly unkind and unthoughtfull person. Now if the injured person was your family how would you feel? Think about that. You may need to get back to river and be a rat instead of a human being.

        • No fucks given at all if the guy was burned. He put innocent family’s and young children at risk. If he was my relative I would tell him to fuck off.

        • do you think someone endangering your grandchildren for greed nd drugs deserves the slightest bit of respect

  • The landlord has been happily and knowingly renting to growers for years, although it toned down for a while after the 2011 raid: https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2011/dec/19/more-marijuana-raids-follow-october-bust-dinsmore/

    “A search warrant was sought and obtained for 11 of the 12 remaining apartments (1897, 1899, 1901,
    1903, 1905, 1921, 1923, 1925, 1931, 1933, and 1935 Ocean Drive), 1941 Ocean Drive and several
    vehicles. Each location contained evidence of a functional indoor marijuana growing operation.

    Arrested and booked at the HCCF were the following persons:
    Barbara Alice Benson, 1/10/45
    Kimberly Grace Mundy 06/18/63” etc.

  • The Ostrich Hunter

    Barb Benson jacked my security deposit after I’d lived in one of those crappy units for for less than 3 months. Hopefully no one was hurt and she’s saddled with a huge repair bill.

  • As another neighbor this is the 2nd explosion at this complex this year! The first one nearly burnt down the house behind it.
    Barbara and her daughter have gotten away with renting to and condoing illegal activity with shady people for too long. Two fires is two too many! When is this going to stop?

  • The flames were higher than the two story house it nearly caught on fire. It did burn down their fence.
    Barbara was so busy questioning the fire fighters about whether or not they believed it was caused illegal activity or not. Never once inquired about any one of the multiple neighbors who put out the fire or thanked them.

  • Lived here too. Terrible landlord. She did not even blink an eye to put my kid and I out on the street so she could rent our place to someone looking for 215 friendly for double what we paid. Crooked, drugged out family. That poor little boy, the grandson used to come by my place for someone normal to talk to. Sad

  • This lady is sketchy. I feel bad for everyone in the neighborhood that has to deal with this dishonest, corrupt person and the trash she brings in to McKinleyville and that complex. There have been shootings, fires, and constant problems requiring police response. She’s got a long history in the ‘industry’, rips people off, and brings the counties worst into McKinleyville. She inherited this complex. She knows about everything going on there; a case study in a grower who lets MJ greed ruin a community. God forbid she just rent out to normal tenants and make a living like other people. Theres been too many second chances. Its time for old Barb Benson to GTFO of McKinleyville, she has put enough people and families at risk over her long, dishonorable tenure. She should be in jail.

  • When will it be enough, BARBARA BENSON? Maybe after some more people get badly burned, or some neighbors houses are destroyed? Maybe after a college kid gets shot? Maybe after a baby or kid dies? Maybe when there is a home invasion at YOUR house and you get tied up and pistol whipped? How much more bad stuff has to happen before you change your greedy ways you money grubbing piece of filth? What will it take before the community or authorites have had enough of you?

  • I live nearby and have been fed up for years! What are the next steps to get rid of these people?

    • You can get enough neighbors to petition and provide proof of endangerment and loss of property value to the neighborhood. It can be considered blight and America has laws preventing blight. It is pretty easy to do if you get enough neighbors.

      It blows me away (pun intended) how lazy the oil makers are. Get an ice machine and do a bit of manual labor. WAY the fuck safer for you and your neighbors.

  • Vultures Coming To Roost

    Ha Ha Ha!! This woman- Barbara Benson- has been openly renting to growers for at least 15 years. It is well-known that she always allowed growing and simply charge double rent for that. Everybody in her complex is growing or manufacturing or using the address as their town spot while blowing up outdoor scenes because they are on probation. The apartments there are used to store weed, trim weed, sell weed and grow weed. Everybody knows this! Including the cops!! It is not a secret. It got busted one time and we all wrote in comments like this to the Lost Coast Outpost. Big friggin’ deal. She just kept doing the same thing! All you neighbors who complain? You are wimps and losers and whiners just taking it for a decade or more…even the police know what’s going on and do nothing. So yeah- this is how the greenrush came to town. Many situations like this all over the county. Many places handed down through chains of greenrushers to their friends coming in from wherever and needed a place to start up and get a foothold…before getting utside and blowing up huge greenhouses, making mad stacks of cash. It’s greed, or business as they like to say. And you neighbors who did nothing but complain and think that “somebody” should have done something? YOU allowed it and YOU enabled it so please stop whining. YOU are the problem because YOU see it and do nothing.

    • Sue the slumlords

      It’s time for the neighbors to follow the example of the neighbors of Floyd Squires’ various Eureka slum houses and start filing lawsuits:


      And Kym, I wonder why you and LoCo haven’t picked up this story?

    • Fed Up With Barbara

      Whatever Vulture. You are a troll. The problem here is not the innocent affected neighbors. I know for a fact people have asked the Sheriffs department what can be done and their only recourse has been to “continue calling 911 after each event”. I’ve questioned Barbara to her face; nothing changes. If you are really blaming neighbors, instead of Barbara and the loosers she rents to, you need your head examined.

      A more productive response would be some suggestions as to what else CAN be done. People want to know. Hopefully this is a tipping point. I appreciate the sue the slumlords suggestion. Maybe a petition, or just a huge group of people knocking on her door and telling her whats what. I’m not into fighting crime with crime…

      Its also very possible this won’t work either because the problem IS BARBARA. She should be locked up. We need more suggestions and ideas for dealing with this problem. LE hasn’t had any… Barbara is like a parent who shouldn’t have kids, only a landlord who shouldn’t have rentals. She is obviously stupid and can’t make a legitimate living even though she was gifted a bunch of property she can rent out.

      As they say, Vulture, if your not part of the solution you TOO are part of the problem. So buzz off with your trolling bad vibes, DB. Any other productive comments are appreciated though, thanks Sue!

      • Vultures Coming To Roost

        Ha Ha! This has been going on for over a decade. And only now you hope for a “tipping point”? That’s cool you did ask everybody what you could do to change it…but then you didn’t change it did you? Call me a troll but I point out the lameness of the community and the ineffectiveness to disarm a real problem that has been openly and illegally existing for over a decade. You are not the only lame neighborhood! This is typical of what happened here in Humboldt and why the greenrush got so ugly. Did you know criminals on probation and parole were living at Barbara’s? Could have pushed for more inspections. Or hey- call in gunshots or child abuse. But perhaps we can put this on local law enforcement not doing their job. Or perhaps let’s just yell at somebody on the blog? Obviously your attempts were ineffective. I’d be frustrated too but I’d go the extra mile to make a change. There are laws all over the country to deal with crackhouses and shooting galleries and such places that pose a danger to neighbors. I challenge you to look at those and get some enforcement here. Or just do what you’ve been doing- keep taking it and complaining….Oops-just saw Sue The Slumlords reply. Yeah- could’ve done that 10 years ago but it’s never too late!

        • Nice job being (slightly) more productive. I’m not here to argue. No one is yelling. This is how life often works. A problem starts, gets out of hand, and then people try and deal with it. All we can do is be positive and work for change in the future. There is an opportunity for that now. All your comments about the past and name calling is a total waste of time. The past is over, some of us live in the present and work for a better future. Thanks for some suggestions. Cheers.

      • I don’t know if its an eureka ordinance that was used, but eureka property owners have faced this and successfully sued under rules, at some level of jurisdiction I can’t remember, prohibiting landlords from knowingly providing a drug house.

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