In Fresno, seven people are hospitalized after suffering burns from a drug lab mishap. Investigators say it's another case of honey oil manufacturing gone wrong.
Honey oil is a concentrated form of marijuana that people make with highly flammable butane gas.
The fire occurred at the Casa Blanca apartment complex located on Gettysburg Avenue between First and Fresno Streets.
Honey oil explosions are becoming a more disturbing trend by the day. This is at least the 8th case Fresno firefighters have responded to in less than two weeks.
It's causing the people doing this illegal act to take up precious space at the Community Regional Medical Center burn unit. Meaning others who need care for legitimate accidents may need to be diverted somewhere else.
Six men and a woman are accused of making honey oil.
"It’s not just a problem for the bad guys. This is a problem for you, the people that live in the community because these folks are exposing everyone around them," said Henry.
A neighbor told us that the explosion woke her from a nap.
"I heard people in chaos. I heard people screaming in terror. Somebody had skin hanging from their arms all the way down to their fingers and it was pretty horrifying," said Kristie Sailor, a witness.
The suspects were allegedly performing the process on their patio. Similar to what we saw one week ago at an apartment on Olive Avenue where a man was badly burned.
Firefighters say there's a misconception. People think because they are outdoors it's safe. Trouble is butane is a heavy gas that doesn't dissipate. It settles at ground level until it finds an ignition source.
"On a patio there's typically a water heater nearby that has a pilot light on it," said Henry.
The fire department encourages you to be aware of an extremely strong odor of marijuana. It could be honey oil being produced, so dial 911.
"Report it. Let us get ahead of it before it explodes," said Henry.
Some, if not all of the suspects will be arrested for this crime which carries the same punishments as operating a meth lab.
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