Disabled Fil-Am mother of 3 dies in San Francisco house explosion and fire
SAN FRANCISCO – A horrific explosion and fire that demolished a San Francisco home killed a disabled Filipino American mother of three young children and left her caregiver hospitalized.
The body of Rita Evelyn Lopez Price, 51, was found amid the charred rubble of her family’s house in the city’s Sunset District.
The family’s two-story home in San Francisco’s Sunset District exploded Feb. 9, irreparably damaging two other adjacent homes.
Price had been disabled by a stroke and was wheelchair-bound. Her caregiver, Lisa, a Thai immigrant, was able to escape from the fire but is hospitalized with burns on her head and torso.
Price’s two children were in school at the time and a third child was staying with an aunt.
Authorities believe the explosion and ensuing fire came from an illegal drug lab being operated in some part of the house. Rita’s husband, Darron Price, 53, is suspected of manufacturing hash oil and/or phencyclidine known as PCP.
Investigators reportedly found “butane tanks, ovens, and other materials consistent with processing hash oil with volatile solvents at the scene,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Darron Price turned himself in and was charged with involuntary manslaughter, manufacturing a controlled substance, four counts of reckless burning, two counts of child endangerment, and one count of elder abuse.