City News Service

Fire Leads to Discovery of Honey Oil Lab in Woodland Hills

A man was injured Friday in an explosion and fire at a residence in the West Hills area where police found an illegal honey oil processing operation, police said.

Firefighters and police officers were sent to the 22200 block of Summit View Drive about 5 a.m., said Los Angeles police Capt. Paul Vernon.

"Firefighters arrived first and put out the fire quickly,'' Vernon said. "One man remained at the scene, with moderate burns. He is currently at the hospital, but is uncooperative with investigators."

Arson investigators from the Los Angeles Fire Department and "LA IMPACT,'' a countywide narcotics task force, were investigating the cause of the explosion and fire, Vernon said.

"Preliminary reports say occupants of the house were involved in an illicit honey oil manufacturing operation,'' Vernon said.

Honey oil is derived from processing marijuana to extract the concentrated THC from the plants, Vernon said.

"It's packaged and sold on the streets and in marijuana shops,'' Vernon said. "The processing involves the use of butane burners, making the operations volatile and subject to explosions and fire."

A common practice for operators of illicit drug labs is to rent homes, make their product, and leave, Vernon said.

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