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Illegal Drug Activity Suspected in Fatal Home Explosion

Investigators sifting through the rubble of an explosion that leveled a Southern California home Wednesday, killing one person and leaving two others critically injured, determined the blast was related to illegal drug activity.

Investigators said they discovered butane and marijuana on the property. The explosion, reported in a small home behind a larger one in the 3300 block of Gray Street in Muscoy, was so large that it caused a portion of newly paved road to buckle, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

"It was like a big boom and the whole house just shook," said one neighbor. "It was really crazy."

Three people were pulled form the rubble. One of them died and two others were hospitalized.

A neighbor who lives a few homes away said he ran to help after feeling the blast and found one man who had escaped and was able to walk. He said a woman was hurt and another man did not survive.

"Everything was destroyed," he said.

Natural gas has been ruled out as the cause of the blast, according to investigators with the fire department and the Southern California Gas Company. Authorities said the explosion was likely because of an illegal drug manufacturing operation in the home that involved honey oil extraction.

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The highly-potent drug is made using THC from marijuana. Manufacturing honey oil is considered high value and low risk until butane vapors are ignited and explode.

Muscoy is a community of nearly 11,000 north of Rialto in San Bernardino County.

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