Police and Firefighters Investigating North Highlands House Fire

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Honey Oil Lab Arson Investigation

Doug Johnson reports from North Highlands where a house blew up and investigators found a honey oil lab inside, spurring an investigation.

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NORTH HIGHLANDS—

Arson investigators are looking into what caused a house in North Highlands to catch fire, but the Metro Fire Department says they found a marijuana oil cooking operation inside.

The fire department says over the last few years these types of labs have caused some serious fires.

“I heard what I thought was like an explosion, I came out my front door and the duplex,” said neighbor Vicki Huffman. “There was 10 feet high flames in the air. The front window exploded and busted glass.”

Metro Fire responded and got the flames knocked out quickly, and that is when they noticed the lab.

“We know that there was a honey oil cooking operation going on before we arrived,” said Battalion Chief of Sac Metro Fire, Steve Turner.

Honey oil is marijuana turned into a more concentrated, waxy form.

“They use a butane, a flammable chemical to help take the chemicals out of the marijuana and put it into another form,” said Chief Turner. “That highly flammable material will be set off by a number of different ignition sources.”

The department is not saying the fire was caused by that lab just yet, but the Sacramento Sheriffs Department is aiding in the investigation.

The tenants of the home declined to comment.

The Sacramento District Attorney’s Office says it has already prosecuted more than a dozen cases of honey oil explosions this year, and said offenders can get up to 7 years behind bars for the crime if convicted.

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