The structure fire which erupted in Brooktrails Sunday and destroyed four rental units was caused by a cannabis extraction lab explosion.
According to Brooktrails Fire Department Chief Daryl Schoeppner, the fire started around 9:30 p.m. in one of the units located in the 24 thousand block of Birch Street. Further details into the fire's cause weren't released, but the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office did confirm to The Willits News that the extraction lab ignited the blaze.
With the help of Cal Fire and the Little Lake Fire Department, fire crews were able to contain the fire in about 45 minutes and prevent it from igniting the nearby brush. Schoeppner explained that his department is still on high alert for fires despite recent rains.
“We are still in fire season,” he said. “Even though we've got a little bit rain which helped with fires around the area, we are not through yet.”
Still, the fire was damaging, destroying four more vehicles and a nearby RV.
One person was critically injured and airlifted to another hospital. Another woman, the chief said, was treated at Howard Memorial Hospital and then released.
The Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force is investigating the area as a crime scene.