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Fire Chief: Explosive House Fire Caused by Men 'Cooking Marijuana'

The three men badly burned in a Monrovia house fire Sunday morning were apparently cooking marijuana with a butane burner to make "honey oil," according to the Monrovia Fire Chief.

A house fire Sunday that erupted that cause an explosion and severely injured three men was apparently caused by a butane burner used by the men to cook marijuana, a fire official told Patch.

Monrovia Fire Chief Christopher Donovan said the men were cooking marijuana in a back room at a home in the 200 block of East Walnut Avenue when the fire erupted.

"What we gather is they were cooking the marijuana down into what they call honey oil," Donovan said. "They had a small explosion in the back room which literally lifted the ceiling off the room."

Honey oil is the "concentrated liquid essence of marijuana," according to Cannibus Culture Magazine.

Three men in the room at the time suffered critical burns and were transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital where they remain in critical condition, Donovan said. Two other residents in the front of the home were able to evacuate without injury, he said.

A hazardous materials unit was brought in from Burbank to examine the scene because firefighters didn't know what was inside the home.

"...We didn't know if this was a meth lab or if there were other types of chemicals," Donovan said.

A fire investigator from the Pasadena Fire Department was called in to investigate the blaze and the official cause hasn't been determined, Donovan said.

"It sure appears as if the fire started from the use of the butane in that room," Donovan said.

Matt Mayo January 06, 2013 at 11:46 PM
The first step of making any extracted oils from cannabis is to make sure if you are using a flammable substance, and if so you should only use it outside, or in a very well ventilated room MADE for it. You are also supposed to make sure you aren't using an open element so that if something goes wrong, it still isn't touching a direct heating surface. Amateurs. Honestly, the main reason this happened is because education on how to properly do it is taboo, and therefore difficult to find accurate information on the subject.
Dan Crandell January 07, 2013 at 07:01 AM
Yep ... Amateur's having access to butane and burners. Hard to believe that retailers have those bottles in four packs ready for someone to turn them into devises which injure or kill. Coleman Camping products ... You're Next !!! Hello Gayle and AKA Marty.
FlyingTooLow January 07, 2013 at 03:30 PM
The emphasis here should be on the butane burner...that's what exploded...NOT the cannabis. Instructions for the correct, and safe, process for making this oil is readily available on youtube and many other sites. The closest I have ever seen marijuana come to harming anyone was during an air drop. We brought in 1100 pounds from Jamaica and dropped it in a peanut field in middle Georgia. The bales were dropped from a small plane at 125 feet altitude. One of the bales, about 80 pounds, missed my compadre by only a few feet... but it surely messed up his truck. You can read about it in: Shoulda Robbed a Bank That is my contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are.
FlyingTooLow January 07, 2013 at 03:31 PM
All card-carrying members of the DEA need to read: Shoulda Robbed a Bank Here is one of its reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars... If David Sedaris had written 'Catcher in the Rye'..this would be it, June 30, 2012 Amazon Verified Purchase This review is from: Shoulda Robbed a Bank (Kindle Edition) I have never smoked pot in my life...nor do I ever care to. I read about this book in numerous Huffington Post comments. Thought I would read it because I know nothing about marijuana or the people involved with it. I am ecstatic that I did. Funny, Funny, Funny!!! The chapters are like short stories. Stories about unloading boats with helicopters, close encounters with law enforcement, traveling through the jungles of South America. The chapter about the author's first time smoking marijuana made me feel like I was with him...coughing. All of the characters were just a group of loveable, nice guys and girls. Not what I had been raised to believe...hysterical maniacs high on pot bent on death and mayhem. They were nothing like that. If you have ever read any of David Sedaris' books, and like them...you will love Shoulda Robbed a Bank. And the crazy things happening reminded me of Holden Caufield in 'Catcher in the Rye' and the way he staggered through life. The way the words are put together are like nothing I have ever heard. I am sure I will use many of the sayings found in this book just to dazzle my friends. A terrific read. I love this book.
Tim Young January 07, 2013 at 05:30 PM
It's a good thing these lads have up to date Health Insurance!Hate to think we the taxpayers would be forced to foot the bill!
Dan Crandell January 07, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Your handle intrigues me. Has something to do with radar I am thinking. Well ... I've got you on my screen and will read that book. Thanks for the insight. Stay happy and healthy.
FlyingTooLow January 07, 2013 at 07:46 PM
@Dan Crandell... A million thanks for your comment. I truly hope you enjoy the book and look forward to your review. On the copyright page is my e address. If you want to 'slap me around,' or send a critique as you read, I will respond. I am wide open to criticism. Warning: the book contains some pretty strong language. I wish you and your family a very safe, happy, and prosperous New Year, Hugh Yonn
Dan Crandell January 07, 2013 at 09:38 PM
I no longer "slap people around" LOL Here on Patch people slap back so I turned to that other cheek advise I heard about. However I look forward to discussing my thoughts on the book with you. As for your "strong language" warning, I'll let me wife read it to me and she can edit out the adult content. We will stay safe and happy but to the "prosperous" we'll get by, Thanks
Candace M. January 07, 2013 at 11:14 PM
The only thing anyone cares about on here is the fricken drugs. Not the fact that most of these young men will probably not make it or the suffering that they and their families are going through. Most of the guys there were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn't have anything to do with drugs. All of these guys grew up together and would hang out playing video games all night long. Sad to see where everyones focus us on. The story is focused in the wrong place and has wrong information as well.
Dan Crandell January 07, 2013 at 11:53 PM
I for one feel your pain. Please help me refocus ... NOW ... Who was cooking while the boys were just hangin and playing video games in the wrong place at the wrong time? Have you informed Nathan McIntire that he got it all wrong? BTW Candace we are not mean spirited in our reactions to bad behavior. AH ... Never mind.
Carmen Martinez January 08, 2013 at 01:00 AM
This property has 3 or 4 apartments/duplexes. Last year they had one for rent and I brought my client (and friend) to see it. I'm glad she ended up not renting! The place is well kept, quiet neighborhood! Obviously not an expensive place, but nice.
Dan Crandell January 08, 2013 at 01:45 AM
Had these 20+ year old "boy" been using a 5 or 7 gallon propane tank the 3-4 other apartment would have been leveled. Boy will be boys.
Nicole Charky January 08, 2013 at 04:19 AM
This is so bizarre!
Dan Crandell January 08, 2013 at 06:29 AM
Bizarre maybe ... Outrageous for sure. Three adult age boys are near death because they chose to place themselves in a house where illegal activities were in progress. May they come through this horrible ordeal and live full peaceful lives with those who love them. The focus is on life Candace. God speed their recovery.
FlyingTooLow January 08, 2013 at 02:31 PM
@Dan Crandell... Again, thank you...
Shedreemz January 09, 2013 at 08:00 PM
My friend lives next door to one of the boy's grandfather. His grandson so far has lost both ears and his nose, not to mention the rest of his body. I can't imagine what this man is having to deal with. And the victims in the burn unit that aren't aware of their condition yet.
Totally anonymous January 10, 2013 at 04:47 PM
They said it was the first of its kind in monrovia. I thought this happen with in the last year or so on 700 block west foothill guy was by the stove doing the same thing and caught fire and got burned I thought I read it on the patch
Dina January 13, 2013 at 11:55 PM
First of all they were not in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were not in a house where "illegal activities" were being done. The 3 adults were doing it themselves. The 2 that made it out were sleeping and have no drug affiliation at all. Yes it is unfortunate that this happened, 1 man burned 80%, 1 burned 60% and the other who ran out of the house on fire is unknown at this time. But they are adults and put not only their lives in danger but the 2 that made it out, 2 dogs and a cat. Not to mention the neighbors. Its not about the drugs its about a choice. They made the wrong choice and now must live with the consequences.
Dan Crandell January 14, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Dina ... We know... Candace M. is the confused one here. A life changing act of stupidity.
No name January 18, 2013 at 10:43 AM
Dina were the two dogs and cat injured in the fire?
c l doe February 23, 2013 at 03:06 PM
I am so sorry to hear of the losses to these people and thei pain for their families and friends. I do not know of anyone who "cooks" marijuana. That sounds like a reference to 'cooking' illegal substances.' There is a method in which butane is uses to pressurize a glass tube full of finely ground pot leaves, in order to extract any useful compounds and use them, before discarding the otherwise useless leaves of the plant. I don't know how a fire wood start, unless by a cigarette or candle. You can buy the glass tube device at most tobacco stores, along with the butane. Most tobacco stores sell marijuana accessories along side tobacco ones. FlyingTooLow, I will peruse your volume.
FlyingTooLow February 23, 2013 at 03:18 PM
@ c l doe... I truly hope that you enjoy both books...I look forward to your reviews... Warning: the books contain some pretty strong language, A million thanks for your comment and interest, Hugh Yonn
c l doe February 23, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Dude, people who go by "doe" are generally used to strong language and strong drink :) I'll come out some day, as a middle-aged women on SSDI who smokes weed to enjoy the day rather than suffer it. Right now, I have to bring down Monrovia city council using a fake name. The cops will be with them, as they roll out in buses with new bracelets on :) This is Vernon/Bell all over again. Just give it a few weeks... Patch itself is helping. Look, I have choppers over my head several times a day...my house is said to be worth 800K. Why am I in Syria? Why is out PD fat and cruel? The one's I have tangled with make the Simi Valley Boyz look the Bratz dolls! I have two advanced degrees, after my BA. Why did my friend have gun toting cops with shot guns on his LAWN for a door to door seller of cheap vacuums? They pointed shotguns at a CHILD a few years ago. SHOTGUNS?
c l doe February 23, 2013 at 03:52 PM
So, I have tried to help the PD with the burglaries, and they hardly took my report. I am simply leaving town until this gets cleaned up. After the Dorner atrocities, in Torrance, I don't think these men are quite right in the head. Why no young women cops in Monrovia? Why didn't they give chase at Shamrock and Foothill last night? Why? Because our cops are often fat and too ungainly to run. So get rid of them, because that crook could be in my YARD now. So, Can Nathan investigate: exactly which officers and why didnt they run after him? and why is car #26 alweays at corner of Shamrock and Valley View (I think, Maybe M. View)
Gayle M. Montgomery February 23, 2013 at 07:07 PM
I saw the 2 officers that were blocking the street with their cars. My memory is vague such that I couldn't pick them up in a lineup, but they were younger, tall, and angular.
Gayle M. Montgomery February 23, 2013 at 07:08 PM
And the car at Shamrock and Valley View may have been the one that was at Stedman and Foothill, parking in the red, in an SUV, making two car traffic difficult on a narrow street, and impeding the view. Haven't seen him in a few weeks.

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