Arrest made in Puna lab explosion


Hawaii Island police have arrested a 28-year-old Puna woman in connection with a drug-related explosion that sent a man to the hospital with severe injuries.

The Keaau woman was arrested Monday afternoon on suspicion of first-degree promotion of marijuana, second-degree promotion of marijuana, first-degree promotion of a harmful drug, promotion of a detrimental drug and four counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. She was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Vice Section continue the investigation.

West Hawaii Today is not identifying the woman because she had yet to be charged with a crime.

At 8:16 p.m. Saturday, police responded to a report of a loud explosion at a home on 17th Street in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision of Puna, according to police. When officers arrived, Hawaii County Fire Department personnel were already at the scene, where smoke was present but not flames.

The blast had knocked out windows, melted plumbing fixtures and blown the doors off cabinets, according to police.

The sole occupant at the time, a 30-year-old Keaau man, was initially taken to the Hawaiian Paradise Park fire station by private vehicle. He was then taken by ambulance to Hilo Medical Center with third-degree burns and later transferred to a hospital on Oahu.

The 28-year-old woman, who also lives at the house, was not home at the time of the explosion, according to police.

Police at the home reportedly recovered 102 marijuana plants from an indoor growing operation, more than an ounce of butane honey oil (a marijuana byproduct) in several stages of manufacture, three e-cigarettes and components associated with the manufacture of butane honey oil, according to police.

Anyone with information about any butane honey oil lab should call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311. Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo and may be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.