Explosion at North Hollywood home caused by marijuana growing equipment, officials say

Two people speak to a police officer in front of a destroyed garage
Los Angeles Fire Department officials said an explosion that rocked a Valley Glen house and sent two people to the hospital was likely caused by marijuana growing equipment.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Equipment used at a home marijuana growing operation in North Hollywood likely caused an explosion that injured three people and displaced at least four others Sunday night, Los Angeles Fire Department officials said.

The explosion, centered in the garage, rocked the single-story Valley Glen home in the 12700 block of West Archwood Street about 9:30 p.m., officials said. The blast tore the roof off the garage and scattered debris across the neighborhood.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said at least seven homes were damaged, and residents in 13 homes were requested to temporarily evacuate.


“The bulk of damage was in the garage area, though the entire home was rendered untenable,” Humphrey said, adding that the city is prohibiting anyone from entering the property.

The blast likely caused a natural gas leak, which firefighters shut off after smelling it, officials said.

The type equipment that caused the incident — whether fertilizer, chemical stimulants or cleaning products — is unclear, Humphrey said. He also said it has not been confirmed if the operation was legal.

The Los Angeles Police Department declined to answer to questions about the incident, saying the investigation was ongoing.

Seven people were in the home at the time of the blast, and a few were injured. A 59-year-old man was hospitalized with burn injuries. A 46-year-old man was also taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A third man suffered minor injuries in the explosion, but declined to be taken to a hospital, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Margaret Stewart said.

A 65-year-old woman and three children who were in the home were not injured.