Possible Honey Oil Lab Spawns Apt. Fire, Evacuations

Residents were evacuated from the apartment complex for a little over three hours.

Residents of a Rosemead apartment complex were being allowed back into their homes Tuesday night after a bomb squad investigating what appeared to be a pipe bomb gave the all-clear.

A neighbor reported hearing an explosion, then flames at a home in the 4200 block of North Walnut Grove about 4 p.m., a Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman said.

"One of the residents felt what they described to us as almost like an earthquake, it knocked them almost down. Luckily, they were able to escape," said LA County fire spokesman Randall Wright.

Firefighters battling the blaze found what was initially thought to be a pipe bomb on the property and later determined to be a possible honey oil lab by investigators from LASD's Arson Explosive Detail team, officials from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Temple Station said.

Honey oil is created when butane is used to extract THC from marijuana. Its street names include hash oil or wax.

As a precaution, a bomb squad was called to investigate. About 150 residents from about a dozen apartment buildings in the surrounding area were evacuated, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ed. MacKenzie said.

An explosion had not occurred, he added.

"A sheriff’s officer knocked on my door and said, ‘You need to leave – right now,’ so I grabbed my dogs and went out," said resident Kevin Fox.

Evacuations were lifted at about 7:30 p.m.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries, officials said. No other injuries were reported.

Damage was limited to three units around the source, which remained under investigation Tuesday evening.

The Rosemead High School gym at 9063 Mission Drive was made available for the Red Cross to help displaced residents.

NBC4's Beverly White contributed to this report.

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