Illegal San Jacinto BHO lab explosion injures two

SAN JACINTO, Calif. — Authorities investigating an explosion that rocked a San Jacinto neighborhood early Thursday evening, June 25, say the explosion was caused by an illegal butane honey oil lab. The illicit drug lab was being operated inside a small, detached room behind a home on the 500 block of Soboba Avenue, between Main and E. 7th streets.

Two people were injured in the explosion and subsequent fire, including a San Jacinto woman who suffered severe burns to 30% of her body and was air-lifted to an area burn and trauma center.

The other injured person sustained minor cuts and burns to his upper torso when the illicit drug lab exploded. He was initially detained for questioning and later released pending further investigation, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Julio Olguin has said regarding the incident and ongoing investigation.


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Deputies from the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station along with other emergency personnel were dispatched to the home about 6:45 p.m., after receiving multiple reports of a loud explosion and a 911 call reporting a residential structure explosion with injuries.

“The reporting party advised that a white female had walked over to the residence and stated her stove had exploded while she was cooking,” Olguin has since reported.

After responding to reports of an explosion in a San Jacinto neighborhood, deputies discovered an illegal butane honey oil lab being operated at the location. San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station photos

When deputies and other officials arrived they located 29-year-old, Bonnie Vital and her boyfriend, 24-year-old, Armando Alcala. Both are San Jacinto residents.

Paramedics who treated the pair determined Vital had sustained “severe burns” to 30% of her body,  while Alcala suffered minor injuries.

Due to the severity of Vital’s burns and other injuries, she was airlifted by Mercy Air to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center’s Burn unit.

“Her condition is serious but stable and (she) is expected to survive,” said Olguin.

About thirty minutes after the explosion and while Vital was being airlifted from the scene of the explosion, another emergency request was placed for an air ambulance to life-flight a pedestrian who had been struck by a car on N. Soboba St., less than three miles away.

Because no other air ambulances were in the area or immediately available, the critically injured pedestrian was transported by ground ambulance to an area hospital where the victim later succumbed to their injuries and passed away.

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During their subsequent investigation into the explosion, deputies interviewed both Vital and Alcala about how the explosion occurred.

“Deputies could not corroborate their stories and learned they were residing at the rear of the residence in a detached room where they were found,” said Olguin.

“Deputies noticed the detached room had caught fire and had been extinguished prior to their arrival,” Olguin continued. “In the detached room, deputies observed numerous butane canisters, glass tubes and large amounts of marijuana.”

Deputies determined the room was being used as a butane honey oil lab, at which time they requested investigators from the Sheriff’s Marijuana Eradication Team respond and assume the investigation.

Neither Vital nor Alcala were arrested, pending further investigation, according to Olguin.

“The loud explosion today on Soboba Ave was not a firework. This time (it) was a Butane Honey Oil drug lab,” San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station officials later said in a social media release regarding the explosion; adding, “We can not stress enough how dangerous these illegal drug operations are in residential neighborhoods.” 

Anyone with information regarding this investigation can contact Deputy Dunlap at the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station at (951) 654-2702. Callers can refer to incident file number I201770071 and can remain anonymous. Criminal activity can also be reported through the We-Tip Crime Reporting Hotline, (909) 987-5005 or

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San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station photos

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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.