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Honey Oil Lab Explodes in Sun Valley Wednesday Afternoon

Garage blown off foundation and 2 men out of the garage, critically hurt

A honey oil lab exploded in Sun Valley on Wednesday afternoon. The Los Angeles Fire Dept. responded. The garage of a recently renovated home was blown off its foundation. The force of the explosion also blasted 2 men out of the garage. Both of them were critically inured, they were transported to a local hospital suffering from 2nd and third degree burns. Honey oil is synthesized from marijuana plants using butane.

The fire broke out around 3:50 p.m. in the 8300 block of Glencrest Drive. The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety red-tagged the garage, which burned after exploding.

Explosions of honey oil labs are somewhat common. Butane is perfectly legal, and marijuana is more or less legal under California law. Nevertheless, authorities said the two men may face drug-related charges.The cause of the explosion was under investigation.

"We heard a loud boom, which was very, very loud, and next thing I heard was my sister screaming. I was in the back so I didn't know exactly what was going on," he said.

Other neighbors heard the explosion and ran outside to see what happened. One person said he saw two men run out of the house, who both appeared to be on fire, and then they began screaming for help as they ripped off their clothes. The two men had recently rented the house in a formerly quiet, residential neighborhood.

Once the fire was out, authorities said, they quickly realized it was an illegal lab that caused the explosion and subsequent blaze in the garage. The victims were transferred to a burn center and will be arrested on suspicion of manufacturing drugs and causing an explosion inside a dwelling.

Los Angeles IMPACT, a task force that investigates drug labs in the county, is handling the investigation. "What it actually is is marijuana and you take butane, which is a solvent, and you use that to extract the THC out of marijuana. It's a very dangerous process," Detective Keith Honore said.

The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety red-tagged the home. Honore said authorities would be limited in what evidence they could collect.


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