A marijuana-oil lab that was in a trailer outside of a home in Delhi exploded Wednesday night, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident was reported as a fire at about 7:45 p.m. Wednesday on the 15000 block of August Ave., Sgt. Ray Framstad said. The trailer was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene, he said, and debris was on fire outside.
It’s unknown if the fire started outside or inside of the lab and the cause was unclear, Framstad added. No one was inside the trailer at the time of the fire and the home on the property wasn’t damaged.
No injuries were reported, Framstad confirmed.
At least one suspect was identified, Framstad said, but as of Wednesday night, no one has been arrested.
Authorities found the trailer set up as a butane honey oil lab, Framstad said, which is a process of breaking down marijuana with butane to extract the Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, concentrate, the part of the plant that people use to get high.
Butane is “very” flammable gas, Framstad said, and it’s dangerous because the people breaking down the marijuana use several cans and without the proper ventilation the smell isn’t detectable.
The butane could explode just by the switch of the light or static electricity and is “pretty unstable stuff,” Framstad said.
Inside the trailer, deputies found around 10 pounds of marijuana waiting to be processed, Framstad said, some weed already processed and finished marijuana extract. The High Impact Investigation Team in Fresno was also called out to the scene on Wednesday night to help with the investigation.
So far this year in Merced County the Sheriff's Office has located 74 grows, 40, 425 plants have been eradicated and 5,080 pounds of processed weed has been found, along with 35 guns, according to Framstad.
Monica Velez: 209-385-2486, @monicavelez21