SANTA CRUZ -- A 29-year-old man suffered severe burns Wednesday after a butane hash oil explosion on Walk Circle, police said.

The man was transported to a Santa Clara County trauma center after the 1:20 p.m. explosion and was in critical condition Wednesday night, police said. It was the second explosion in about 10 days in Santa Cruz caused by the drug-making operation.

"The process is extremely dangerous due to the use of highly combustible butane," Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said.

Residents reported an explosion at the house at 128 Walk Circle. A man who lived there drove himself part of the way to Dominican Hospital, and he was driven the rest of the way by his girlfriend, police said.

Santa Cruz firefighters arrived and found the home's front windows blown out and smoke in a rear bathroom, said Santa Cruz Fire Battalion Chief Jason Hajduk.

Firefighters shut off the electricity and made sure the fire was extinguished.

Authorities pulled a dog out from under a bed and found another that had escaped the home, Hajduk said. Both dogs had singed hair and later were taken by the victim's girlfriend and a neighbor, authorities said.

Police investigated the blast and found a "large quantity" of marijuana and more than 12 butane canisters in the home.

Firefighters were not sure if the home was inhabitable Wednesday night.

"Detectives will continue to follow up on the investigation and appropriate criminal charges of the manufacture of illegal drugs," Clark said.


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Three men from another hash oil explosion and fire on Sept. 29 on Third Street in Santa Cruz also suffered severe burns.

Police said that fire also started from hash oil, which is processed using butane and marijuana.

Follow Sentinel reporter Stephen Baxter at Twitter.com/sbaxter_sc