Big Isle police investigating Puna lab explosion


Hawaii Island police are investigating a drug-related explosion that sent a man to the hospital with severe injuries.

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 in Puna. When officers arrived, 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 the Hawaii Police Department.

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

Police 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.

Area I Vice Section detectives are continuing the investigation.

Anyone with information about any butane honey oil lab should call the Police 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 a reward of up to $1,000.