Victims of suspected honey oil explosion in Tulare County are 'lucky they're not dead,' sheriff says

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Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux says he's confident Saturday's mobile home explosion on Pacific Avenue was caused by an illegal honey oil production lab inside the home. (KFSN)

Four people are still in critical condition at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, following an explosion at a Tulare County home Saturday.

Authorities believe the explosion was caused by a honey oil operation in the home. Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux says he's confident Saturday's mobile home explosion on Pacific Avenue was caused by an illegal honey oil production lab inside the home.

Honey oil has a high concentration of THC and can be extracted from marijuana using butane canisters. Witnesses describe men running out of the home, badly burned and pleading for help.

Sheriff Boudreaux says he initially received information that there may also have been children inside the home.

"And so we were really relieved to find that there, in fact, was no small children in the home at the time of the explosion, so that was a good thing for us in the sheriff's office and good for the small children that have been in the home before, as I'm told," he said.

Because they haven't been charged yet, the sheriff's office isn't releasing the names of the four men sent to the hospital. But we do know they are between the ages of 23 and 28.

And that one is in slightly better condition than the other three, and the sheriff says they have talked to him already. It's been a few years since his office responded to a honey oil lab explosion, but the sheriff says this is another reminder of how volatile and dangerous the labs are. If the butane ignites, he says it's like a small bomb goes off.

"And that's what happened here," Boudreaux said while reviewing of a previous explosion. "It was multiple canisters. Who knows how many of those exploded? But they're lucky they're not dead."

In addition to the butane canisters, authorities found remnants of honey oil and burned marijuana at the scene.

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