West Shore RCMP says a sophisticated large scale clandestine lab allegedly used to produce a chemically derived concentrated cannabis was uncovered last week in a View Royal basement suite.

Police were asked to assist View Royal Fire Department with a suspicious fire Thursday night that firefighters advised started in a basement unit kitchen.

The 35-year-old female tenant suffered burns to her arms.

Attending Mounties learned the fire was caused by chemically extracting cannabis and the next day, a search warrant was executed on the property with help from the RCMP Clandestine Lab Team.

Inside the house, police spotted the lab that was allegedly producing a chemically derived cannabis known as “Shatter”, and officers seized about 100 pounds of dried cannabis, cannabis resin and oil, “Shatter” in various stages of production along with more than $1,000 in cash.

Police say currently, chemical extractions of cannabis cannot be legally purchased and it is also against the law to produce cannabis beyond person cultivation limits or with the use of solvents.

Investigators also found a large amount of flammable and explosive materials including acetone solvents and more than 500 canisters and tanks of used butane was also found.

The basement suite also contained what police describe as high-quality commercial-grade lab equipment, including industrial ovens, high-end steel extractors and laboratory glassware.

“Producing Shatter involves the use of organic solvents which is an extremely dangerous criminal activity. The lab was in a neighbourhood bordering parks and children’s playgrounds. Further, there was evidence of children living in the home,” West Shore RCMP Cst. Kevin Pollock said in a written statement.

“The Crime Reduction Unit worked with the RCMP Clandestine Lab Team to safely take down and process the scene. The investigation is on-going. A variety of charges relating to drug production and distribution under the Cannabis Act and other potential Criminal Code offences are being sought.”

CHEK