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Suspected Hash Oil Lab Explodes In Commerce

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Two men were hospitalized when their suspected home hash oil lab exploded in Commerce last night.

After firefighters responded to a fire at the house at 8:10 p.m. last night, an arson investigation into the burnt-out house revealed a laboratory that looked to be used in the extraction of butane honey oil (commonly known as hash oil or wax), City News Service reported. Butane bottles used in the process were found in the home, and one of them may have exploded and caused the fire, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Don Walker said.

Firefighters fighting the blaze at the residence in the 2300 block of Ayers Avenue had to pull back when they heard several explosions, allowing the structure to burn, according to the fire department. The explosions were so powerful that they knocked the home off its foundation, causing an estimated $300,000 in damage

An 18-year-old man and 21-year-old man from the residence were hospitalized with critical burns. If they survive, authorities say they will face narcotics-related charges. If one suspect dies, the other could face a second-degree murder charge.

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This isn't the first home hash-oil lab explosion in the state to happen over the past year. In February several apartment units were damaged and two people were hospitalized in a lab explosion in El Cajon, NBC San Diego reports, and in April of last year, a man suffered second- and third-degree burns when his alleged attempts to use butane to extract marijuana oil resulted in an explosion, which was already at the time the third such explosion in Shasta County that year, according to the Los Angeles Times.