Home Torched in Honey Oil Lab Explosion

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Three people were severely burned in a marijuana lab explosion in Oroville over the weekend.

According to Butte County Sheriffs, officers with the help from Cal Fire determined the house fire was caused by the manufacturing of butane honey oil, a highly concentrated form of marijuana.

Detectives said the home was heavily damaged by the ignition of butane vapors. The ignition caused a shock wave that preceded the fire, causing major damage to the home.

The explosion blew walls off of their foundations and knocked windows out of their frames. Detectives found several dozen butane canisters around the explosion area. Some canisters were found as far away as 200 feet.

A search warrant led SEU Detectives to evidence of marijuana cultivation, including a large amount of marijuana stored in plastic tubs, according to sheriffs. They also found several firearms and several vials of illegal steroids.

The owner of the property, Brandon Qassem, 30, was taken to a hospital for burns suffered in the explosion. He is currently listed in critical condition.

Two young teens, ages 13 and 15, were with Qassem at the time of the explosion. They are listed in critical but stable condition. The teens are from outside of the area, and were visiting Qassem for Thanksgiving.

This is an ongoing investigation and criminal charges will be brought against Qassem when he recovers from his burn injuries.

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