Los Angeles police are investigating an explosive and deadly fire at a Green Meadows industrial site early Saturday after a body was recovered amid signs of an illegal cannabis operation, fire and police officials said.
The body appeared to be that of a man, though officials have yet to confirm the person’s identity, said Brian Humphrey, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman.
Officer Jader Chaves, an LAPD spokesman, said a second person was transported to a hospital in critical condition, though he had no additional information on the cause or nature of that person’s injuries.
Chaves said the operation uncovered at the industrial building in the 800 block of East Manchester Avenue was being investigated as an “illegal butane honey oil clandestine lab.”
“Butane honey oil” is a potent hash product made using highly flammable butane to heat marijuana extract. The process is considered volatile and extremely dangerous, and such underground operations are illegal despite the broader legalization of many cannabis products in California.
Humphrey said 113 firefighters battled the blaze for more than an hour, after arriving on scene to the sound of explosions following a 911 call about 1:17 a.m.
Humphrey said the building was about 100 feet long by 50 feet wide and appeared abandoned from the outside — but that “didn’t add up” given the explosiveness and strength of the fire. [Read More @ The LA Times]