Teen Making Hash Oil Allegedly Starts Apartment Fire in Palo Alto: Police

Police have arrested a 17-year-old who allegedly caused an apartment fire when he tried to manufacture hash oil on a kitchen stove, police said.

The first report of the fire came in at about 8:50 p.m. Thursday from several residents of an apartment complex at 845 Ramona St., according to police.

When officers arrived they found the apartment's sprinkler system had extinguished the fire, police said. Firefighters from the Palo Alto Fire Department also responded.

Some residents of the apartment complex were evacuated while authorities determined the cause of the fire, according to police.

An investigation revealed the teen was using a kitchen stove and liquid butane to manufacture the oil, which is a concentrated form of cannabis, police said. He left the stove unattended for a moment when the fire started, setting off the sprinkler system, police said.

When the fire was out, the teen flushed some of marijuana down the toilet and threw the butane canisters in a trash shoot, police said.

Police said the fire was contained to the kitchen where it started. No other units sustained any smoke or fire damage, but the suspect's apartment and two neighboring apartments sustained water damage and were uninhabitable Thursday night, according to police.

The American Red Cross assisted the residents who were displaced, police said.

Medics treated the teen for a superficial burn on his arm and police cited the teen for one felony count of manufacturing hash oil and one misdemeanor count of destroying evidence, police said.

Anyone with information about the fire is being asked to get in touch with the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. People can email anonymous tips to paloalto@tipnow.org or send them via text or in the voicemail system at 650-383-8984.

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