SF home explosion suspect charged with multiple felonies; officials ID woman killed

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Thursday, February 16, 2023
SF home explosion suspect charged with multiple felonies
Darron Price, the suspect arrested in the San Francisco home explosion that killed his wife Rita Price, made his first court appearance on Wednesday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The man arrested in connection with the massive explosion that rocked San Francisco's Sunset neighborhood last week made his first court appearance on Wednesday.

Darron Price, 53, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, manufacturing drugs, and child endangerment.

The deadly explosion last Thursday on 22nd Avenue between Noriega and Moraga happened just before 9:30 a.m.

Price's wife was killed. Authorities formally identified her as 51-year-old Rita Price.

EXCLUSIVE: SF explosion victim describes escaping burning home, working for suspect

ABC7 spoke exclusively with the woman who escaped the fiery home explosion in San Francisco's Outer Sunset last week that killed one person.

Her caretaker escaped but was badly burned.

Price's two children were at school when the explosion happened.

According to investigators, a narcotics lab was being operated inside the home.

Police arrested Price a day after the explosion.

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"The discovery we provided shows that the butane vapors interacted with the dryer and caused the explosion to the house," said Assistant District Attorney Robert Perkins.

Investigators removed numerous canisters, cylinders, 50-gallon drums, and industrial equipment from Price's home after the explosion.

Authorities believe Price was processing hash oil.

ABC7 News was the only station to talk to the caretaker. She shared this comment from her hospital bed.

"The truth is, he told me that he was working as a contractor. That is all I know," said the caretaker.

The judge postponed Price's arraignment until Friday to give attorneys more time "to review the substantial evidence."

Outside the courtroom, public defender Sierra Villaran said, "We vehemently deny these accusations. Once all the evidence is turned over, reviewed by experts, further investigated we believe that Mr. Price will be exonerated."

This is what the public defender had to say about Price getting to talk his children on Wednesday.

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"I think (that's important) as their father, when they are facing what will likely be the most difficult thing of their life. He has an incredible amount of their love for them and is so concerned about their well-being right now," said Villaran.

Price's home was destroyed. Two other homes have been red-tagged.

There's a GoFundMe page for one family that was displaced.

There's also separate GoFundMe campaign for the caretaker who was badly hurt by the blast.

Supervisor Joel Engardio and city officials will hold a town hall Thursday night for the families affected by the house explosion and fire to help connect them with resources.

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