Cooking up trouble: honey oil blamed for house explosion

FRESNO COUNTY (KFSN) -- An early morning fire in Fresno County near Chestnut and Huntsman created this smoky scene Thursday.

A special drug investigation team is looking into whether the blaze was the result of a honey oil lab explosion.

It wasn't shocking news for Matthew Cruz who lives a couple houses down. "Most folks out here weren't surprised per say. Not too many of us know them very well, but from what I heard they were interesting characters."

Authorities say there were at least two people inside the home, and they drove themselves to the hospital after being burned.

The fire had extended through the majority of the home, it was about 50 percent involved in fire," said Battalion Chief Ryan Michaels of Fresno County Fire.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says last year, investigators discovered 10 honey oil labs but they seized only a few grams of honey oil.

So far this year, there have been 5 lab explosions, with over 4 pounds of honey oil removed.

She is encouraging people to look for two signs to help combat the problem: butane cans and marijuana stems.

"Honey oil is made by using butane canisters. They look like spray cans. So, if you see piles of these butane cans laying around that's an indication of a butane honey lab," says Sheriff Mims.

"Also, they take the marijuana, we call it shake, but the leavings after the bud has been shaved off."

That's why the Sheriff says. if you see bags of plant material, that's also an indication that somebody is making honey oil.
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