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Fresno firefighters see increase in marijuana honey oil explosions

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fresno firefighters are seeing an increase in explosions and flash fires created by criminals who they say are extracting "honey oil" from marijuana.

There are currently ten people currently getting treatment for burns they received during an explosion. Crews worry if this disturbing trend continues; many ore including innocent people will get hurt.

Kristie Saylor cannot erase what she witnessed from her memory. "The screaming and the pure terror of someone in pain," said Saylor.

On Friday evening, a loud explosion outside her apartment woke her up. Soon she was watching first responders and a burned man yelling in agony. "It took me at least three times to look at him and realize that he had skin all the way from the tops of his arms to his fingertips, just dangling from his arms. It's a camera shot in my mind I can't get out of my head," added Saylor.

That fire sent seven people to a nearby hospital. It was caused by the dangerous process of using butane gas to extract something called, "honey oil" from marijuana. "Butane, the product the use to extract the honey oil from marijuana is highly flammable. It's heavier than air so it stays close to the ground and it seeks out an ignition source," said Battalion Chief, Chuck Tobias.

Honey oil has a higher THC content than normal marijuana and is way more potent. Investigators are now seeing a spike in the crime after YouTube videos were created. In the videos people are shown teaching others how to manufacture the drug. " They make it sound like it's very simple in these YouTube videos . They make it seem like you don't have to be a chemist to figure it out. They fail to tell you - it can cost you your life," added Tobias.

Over the past month crews have gone to about a dozen explosions and flash fires created by the extraction process. In almost every case  someone was hurt by the intense heat in just seconds.

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Tags:
fresno, fresno county, marijuana, explosion, local, mariana jacob
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