UPDATE: Officials confirm BHO lab caused Johnson Park trailer explosion – Suspects ID’d

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 30, 11:13 a.m.

See Original Story below.

JOHNSON PARK, Calif. — In the wake of an explosion that occurred inside an RV-style travel trailer at the Lamplighter Mobile Home Park in Johnson Park last Saturday night, authorities have announced that a Butane Honey Oil lab was the official cause of the explosion that destroyed the trailer and rocked the residents of the small trailer park.

Although the explosion spared the life of a 4-month-old infant who was in “another part of the trailer” when the BHO lab exploded inside it, both the child’s parents suffered serious burn injuries and remain hospitalized at UC Davis’s Burn Center. The parents have since been identified as 38-year-old, Colt James Graham, and 20-year-old Ashley Nicole Stewart.

BFPD Chief Monte Keady told SCNS that an explosion that rocked the Lamplighter Mobile Home Park last Saturday seriously injured two adults and left a travel trailer “a total loss.” Rachel Dunlap photos

Shasta County Burney Station deputies who responded to the explosion briefly interviewed Graham and Stewart before the pair was airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Redding. Both were later life-flighted to UC Davis, due to their extensive burn injuries, Shasta County Sheriff’s Sergeant Marc St. Clair has since reported.

When deputies and fire investigators later searched the heavily damaged trailer after the scene was rendered safe by Burney Fire Protection District firefighters, they discovered evidence associated with Butane Honey Oil (BHO) manufacturing, according to St. Clair.

That evidence included a large butane canister that had exploded on a table inside the trailer, as well as multiple additional used and unused butane canisters and drugs.

Based on the circumstances, the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force (SINTF) was contacted and took over the investigation, St. Clair explained.

The infant was evaluated at Mercy Medical Center before being taken into protective custody by Shasta County Children and Family Services.

Lamplighter resident Rex Stalnacker later told SCNS via social media that he and a friend were the first ones to respond to the explosion and fire-damaged trailer said the first things they and other park residents did was to help make sure the fire was extinguished and to check on the trio who live inside the trailer.

“It was so scary, just the thought of what this baby had to go through with these messed up parents who would put their kids in danger like this,” Stalnacker described.

Another Lamplighter resident who requested to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation later told SCNS, “It’s just disgusting to think that this poor baby’s parents would be so callous and uncaring that they’d be running a drug lab inside that small trailer with their baby asleep inside.”

“I hope the pair recovers, but those ‘so-called parents’ should never have the opportunity to endanger their baby’s life again.”

Anderson resident Linda Slater also later shared her thoughts with SCNS, saying, “It really makes me mad how parents can put their little ones in danger like this.”

“God gave us these miracles and it’s our job to love and protect them, NOT endanger them,” Slater continued. “Even at that, I pray both parents make a quick healing recovery and realize what they had outside of the drugs.”

“It’s a sad situation all around when kids are involved, and fortunately the infant wasn’t injured,” one local EMS responder who declined to be named told SCNS after the explosion; adding that both parents admitted to being users of methamphetamine.

Anyone with information about this ongoing investigation is encouraged to contact the Burney Sheriff’s Station at (530) 245-6070 or the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force at (530) 224-4804. Callers can refer to incident file number 21S010041 and can remain anonymous.


Original Story: “Criminal activity” led to Johnson Park RV explosion that hospitalized two

JOHNSON PARK, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-month-old infant was lucky to survive after an explosion destroyed an RV-style trailer at a Johnson Park mobile home park Saturday night, March 27.

The infant’s mother and father, who were also inside the trailer when the explosion occurred, were both seriously injured and official radio traffic at the time indicated one suffered extensive first and second-degree burns over 50% of their body, while the other sustained burns over 10% of their body.

Both were flown by air ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Redding for further treatment. However; the mother was later transferred to UC Davis due to her extensive burn injuries.

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Burney Fire Protection District firefighters, Burney Station sheriff’s deputies, and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the Lamplighter Mobile Home Park at 38295 Highway 299E around 10:45 a.m. after receiving reports of a fully involved residential structure fire with explosion and injuries, BFPD Chief Monte Keady later told SCNS.

911 callers also reported to SHASCOM emergency dispatchers that the RV trailer had exploded with a mother, father, and infant inside.

Chief Keady with Burney Fire was the first to arrive at the scene and reported that the still smoldering, but no longer on fire, travel trailer had received extensive damage from an explosion.

During their subsequent investigation, fire and law enforcement personnel located a large butane canister that had exploded on the counter in the trailer. 

“This was determined to be the source of the damage …and… it was determined that alleged criminal activity led to the explosion,” the Chief explained.

“Several additional cans of Butane, both full and empty, were found inside the trailer along with drugs that were seized by Shasta County sheriff deputies,” said Keady.

“It’s a sad situation all around when kids are involved, and fortunately the infant wasn’t injured,” one local EMS responder who declined to be named told SCNS this morning; adding that both parents admitted to being users of methamphetamine.

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“The damage to the trailer’s walls and windows are likely enough to total the … trailer,” Keady told SCNS this morning; adding. “This puts the damages of structure and contents at approximately $20,000.”

“Although thankfully, the 4-month-old child was not injured, because of the proximity to the alleged criminal activity and being in a structure that exploded, the child was evaluated and released into the custody of CPS.”

A criminal investigation into the full cause of the explosion is now underway and criminal charges are likely to be filed against the parents, whose names have not been released.



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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

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 30 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 18 grandchildren.

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