[UPDATE 7:55 p.m.] Major Explosion in Manila; ‘Structure on the Ground’

A “structure is on the ground” and there are several victims following an explosion on Young Lane between Manila and Arcata, according to scanner traffic a little after 5 p.m.

According to the Incident Commander at the scene, “We do have signs of a major explosion. Two burn victims at local hospitals and a third unconfirmed and unaccounted for.”

UPDATE 5:12 p.m.: Firefighters are being asked to acknowledge that there is not only hazards from downed power lines but also hazard from “butane.”

According to the Incident Commander, “Three potential victims from this incident have not arrived at the hospital and are still not accounted for.”

Also he is asking for a backhoe.

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: The burn victims are at Mad River Hospital, according to dispatch.

UPDATE 5:21 p.m.: 

Emergency vehicles at the scene of a possible butane explosion.

Emergency vehicles at the scene of a possible butane explosion. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

UPDATE 5:36 p.m.: According to a reader who sent in these photos below taken about 5 p.m., “We live around a mile away and felt the explosions before the smoke came up.”  She says, the “flames have since died down a little….Neighbors are also saying it’s the sheds not the houses”

She also reports a dog was found running loose. “There is also a black lab that a bystander seen running from the [area] where the structure is,” our reader said. “She put the dog in her car and is trying to look for the owner.”

fire in Manila

fire in Manila

UPDATE 7:55 p.m.: More photos from the scene from Mark McKenna.

Firefighters attempt to extinguish a hot spot under one of the collapsed walls of the trailer.

A firefighter leans in to his crewman’s back to help with the pressure from the hose.

Crews used pikes to get at a hot spot.


The smoke column from the fire could be seen from Eureka.

Fire crews attempt to extinguish a stubborn part of the fire under a collapsed wall of the trailer.

Fire crews surveyed the scene.

Sparks fly as a firefighter cuts into a collapsed wall of the trailer.

Crews continued to work multiple hot spots on the collapsed structure.

Two firefighters take a brief break for water and new air tanks before returning to work.



  • As long as the community (i.e. neighbors/media) tolerate drug “culture” this will never end.

    • As long as the government creates an illegal market for drugs through prohibition, you’re gonna have a drug culture.

      • Yep many home distillers blew themselves up during prohibition, that moonshines like gas!

      • Patriot in Willits

        Stupid people will continue to do stupid things whether that activity is legal or not. Proper ventilation is not a crime.

        • If hash oil cost the same as olive oil, I don’t think that people would be blowing their trailers up to surreptitiously produce it.

    • As long as the police ignore the drug labs due to limited manpower, cost , and the inherent danger to the officers, these labs will continue to operate. The war on drug producers/labs ended in 2012. Arrests now days are for possession, not manufacturing!

      I see more possible vigilante actions in the near future that will spring up, as neighbors will have to police their own neighborhoods. Otherwise, our environment will become more and more polluted with all of these toxic chemicals, and you will have no choice but to move on to survive!

      • Hash labs typically use alcohol, butane [or ice water]. So,no more camp stoves for you.

      • To the Visitor: Right, the cops and firefighters just “ignore” the problem. What a fucking stupid assessment.

        • To the Tall Trees: Don’t put words in my mouth. I never referred to firefighters. This isn’t a “fucking stupid assessment”, as you so rudely assumed. This is a true life fact. Do your research before you decide to unload your foul mouth at someone.

          There is no more federal money allocated (since 2012) to process and clean up these drug labs when they are busted. With an average of $2,500 to $5,000 for cleaning up and disposing of the chemical waste and residue, local government agencies do not have the funds. Thus, the labs are being IGNORED. This is happening all over the country. Read about it online!

          What we are seeing in this country is our controlled substance abuse and the criminal activity that goes with it, is eventually going to catch up and possibly surpass the age old problems we have with alcohol.

          What will we do to change this? It is not going away on its own! Especially if we ignore the root of the problem.

  • When will people learn? What does it take? I ask these questions and then I remember people still do meth. I’m so completely shocked the punishment for this isn’t severe. The same punishment for manufacturing and setting off a bomb should apply here. This is coming from someone who is not against cannabis. I really hope nobody innocent was hurt.

  • Butane ah they must have been refilling lighters

  • Those are awful. We had a good one here in Rio Dell recently.

  • Spurious Truthyist

    ‘No… it’s NOT dangerous to fill a room with butane fumes while the pilot lights are on in multiple appliances….’ I swear, you guys who do this are really stupid. You don’t have lab safety training, you don’t have the right equipment, and yet you get mad when someone freaks out about you doing this! I really wish there wasn’t such a disconnect in the world about common sense…. I wish certain friends would get the message when they read about these massive explosions and burn victims- but hey, THEY KNOW WHAT THEY THINK THEY KNOW….. well, I WON’T stick around while you do it!
    Another little tidbit is, how much butane are you inhaling while you’re cooking it? Does it even matter if you are ‘purging’ it, when you are constantly breathing it while processing?
    Finally, by doing this to a plant with 30 odd terpenes, you lose the value of those… kinda like stripping the goodness out of food…..

  • I hope they weren’t renting.glad everyone is ok

  • I drove by there attempting to get to my own home in Manila about 20 minutes ago and the smell was nauseous and overwhelming. I could not stay in the area and had to turn around and leave. I’m getting a hotel room for the night and I worry that there’s toxins in the air for the Neighbors. I’m surprised that there has been no evacuations done for the neighborhood.

  • Better a black lab running than a hash lab running!

  • I heard the explosion in my yard in Eureka near Henderson Center. Sounded like it was only blocks away. Scared me and my dog. Noise from the ocean does travel far here though. We hear fog horns, waves crashing, and boat horns from our house.

  • A house was destroyed by a propane explosion near Fort Bragg a few years ago. Pretty spectacular! Completely flattened, block walls broken and knocked out of line. A friend heard it at a distance of at least 2 miles. A leak in a line filled the house with propane and it was ignited when someone entered and turned on a light switch. He survived without serious injury as did his dog. He later stated that he had a funny feeling turning on the switch wasn`t a good idea. Should have followed his intuition……

    Perhaps the moral of the story is that not every building that explodes is the result of nefarious activity.

  • Excellent pictures Mark McKenna.

  • I thought photos had an impressive clarity as well.
    Re : lab in manila? Are we surprised?

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Manila should just be returned to dunes. Nothing good has ever come from there. Pretty sure you have to be a felon to live there.

  • It’s called Rosin , people!!! Heat pressed and solventless!!! Why make all the weed haters say “see told you so” when we have safe alternatives!?!?!?!

    Hey kids Get a hair straightener and some bubble bags and get to work and stop blowing up the neighborhoods and yourselves.

  • Kym, you are the best! A good, safe New Year to you and yours!😎

  • The world is always turning It’s just that sometimes, it spins in the wrong direction.

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