Sheriff's detectives today are investigating a suspected drug lab explosion in a Moorpark garage that caused a fire and injured two men, one seriously, authorities said.
The men, both in their 30s, were working in the drug lab at a home in the 4200 block of North Cedarpine Lane early today when the explosion occurred, sheriff's Capt. Tim Hagel said.
Authorities believe the lab was producing hash oil or honey oil — concentrated THC products extracted from marijuana.
A fire was reported about 1:24 a.m. Firefighters arrived to find the garage engulfed in flames, the roof partly collapsed and flames spreading to the eaves of the two-story home, said Battalion Chief Jim Arledge of the Ventura County Fire Department.
The two men were found outside the home. Both were taken to the hospital, one with serious injuries and the other with moderate injuries, said the battalion chief. Their names had not yet been released.
Firefighters searched the home for additional victims and found none. They later learned a pregnant woman and a child about 3 years old escaped on their own after being awoken by a smoke alarm, Arledge said.
About 35 firefighters responded, and it took them about an hour to knock down the flames, officials said. The blaze caused significant damage, mostly to the garage and an attic area, Hagel said.
Firefighters were initially told it might be a methamphetamine lab, but authorities later said it apparently was making hash oil. Ventura County sheriff's detectives are investigating the incident.
Hash oil is refined from cannabis using volatile processes, authorities said. Honey oil is a specific type of hash oil.
Investigators suspect the drug-making process caused an explosion that ignited the fire, officials said. Firefighters found butane canisters with their caps blown off, Arledge said.
The two men were treated at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks for non-life-threatening injuries, officials said. One of the men lives in the house, officials said.
No arrests had yet been made.
Sheriff's officials spent most of the night securing the scene and making sure the neighborhood was safe, Hagel said. "We're just entering the investigative phase right now," he said.
Arledge said it was the first time he's seen a suspected hash oil lab during his 32 years with the fire department, although he has responded to a handful of fires involving other kinds of drug labs.
— Staff writer Cindy Von Quednow contributed to this report.
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