WINTON, Calif. (KFSN) --Two people are in the hospital after a honey oil explosion. Deputies said there were 4 children home when explosion happened. Fortunately, they were not hurt, but their parents had be flown to a Fresno Burn Center. Authorities said Merced County could see more of these cases because of all the marijuana byproduct that's available year round.
The explosion at a home on Myrtle Avenue in Winton was so powerful it blew out a side wall. Deputies said a man was making butane honey oil in the garage Monday night when his wife opened the door leading into the house, and a candle in the kitchen ignited the highly flammable gas. "Two adults received moderate injuries from their arms, legs, lower extremities from the honey oil, as well as there were four children in the house that were not injured, 3 daughters and 1 son ranging in age from three to thirteen," said Sgt. Ray Framstad, Merced County Sheriff's Office.
Several agencies responded to the blast, including a specialized team from Fresno.
Authorities found 60 cans of butane and several pounds of marijuana-- which are used to make the highly concentrated cannabis. Authorities said this is the second honey oil explosion in Merced County this year-- compared to that same number for all of last year. "The part with these two we've had this year, they've both been occupied dwellings. So, in the past we've responded to houses that have been burned down because of this, we never find anybody," said Framstad.
Framstad said these cases may become more common in Merced County because residents are allowed to grow up to 12 plants while many cities have banned cultivation altogether. And honey oil can be made year round from leftover parts of the plant. "So we have our flowers, the female part, that's sold and they keep the byproduct behind sometimes. They do that during the season, but a lot of times we see it in the winter months because there's no other marijuana to be grown, and there's a lot of money to be made."
Deputies said they'll continue going after anyone growing more than 12 plants to try to cut down on all marijuana-related crimes.
And anyone who notices suspicious activity in the county should call the sheriff's office.