The woman killed in last week's home explosion in the Sunset District has been identified, and it was the wife of the suspect whose alleged home drug lab is believed to have caused the explosion.
The disabled victim, who became trapped in the home as it was engulfed in flames, has been identified as 51-year-old Rita Price, wife of the suspect arrested Friday, 53-year-old Darron Price. As the Chronicle reports, Rita Price was at home with her caregiver of many years, who has been identified as Lisa in a GoFundMe set up on her behalf.
Lisa escaped the flames, and despite suffering burns over her entire body, friend Anchalee Kurutach says she "was still conscious enough to tell people that someone, her disabled employer, was still inside the house and needed help."
Lisa is reportedly an immigrant from Thailand who came to San Francisco eight years ago.
Darron Price, who was scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, was charged last week with involuntary manslaughter, drug manufacturing, child endangerment, and "proximately" causing bodily injury to the caregiver. He was arrested on Friday after turning himself in.
The child endangerment charges stem from the couple's two children who lived in the home, and who were at school at the time of the explosion at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning. The home at 1734 22nd Avenue was completely destroyed, and the blast also caused significant, red-tag-level damage to the homes on either side of it.
Price is believed to have been manufacturing hash oil and/or phencyclidine, otherwise known as PCP, in some part of the home. We now learn from charging documents, via the Chronicle, that investigators found probably "butane tanks, ovens, and other materials consistent with processing hash oil with volatile solvents at the scene."
A police source told KPIX last week that an initial belief as to the cause of the explosion is that the caregiver might have ignited fumes from a leaking tank when she turned on a dryer.
“As the Outer Sunset neighborhood works to rebuild following last week’s sudden explosion, we will join their efforts by standing with the victims and the community in seeking justice,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins in a statement, ahead of Price's arraignment. “We must send a clear message that the manufacture of dangerous drugs will not be tolerated in San Francisco; this activity is not only dangerous for the individuals involved but entire neighborhoods as this case so tragically demonstrates.”
As far as we know, Lisa, the caregiver remains hospitalized. None of the Price family has yet commented publicly on the tragic case.