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Butane honey oil lab explodes in North Chico neighborhood

A large explosion in North Chico on Tuesday led police to the discovery of a butane honey oil lab.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2019 3:57 PM
Updated: Apr. 17, 2019 2:19 PM

UPDATE: Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. - A Chico couple pleaded guilty to endangering their child in a butane honey oil Lab explosion at their home in north Chico in February.

Evan Blake Palmer, 30, and Brittany Renee Larsen, 28, pleaded guilty to charges of child endangerment in court Wednesday. Palmer also pleaded guilty to manufacturing butane honey oil.

The garage containing the lab sustained serious damage after the explosion. Later, officials discovered that Palmer’s and Larson’s 5-month-old daughter was in the house during the explosion. The baby wasn’t harmed.

Ramsey said Butte County Child Protective Services took the baby into custody. Palmer, scheduled to be sentenced on May 15, 2019, faces upward of eight years and four months in state prison. Larson, scheduled to be sentenced on June 5, 2019, faces up to six years in state prison.

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CHICO, Calif. - A large explosion in North Chico on Tuesday led police to the discovery of a butane honey oil lab.

The Chico Police Department received reports about the explosion from concerned residents in the 2600 block of Burnap Avenue on Feb. 19. 

Upon arrival, officers found a home missing its garage door, which appeared to have been blown off due to the explosion. The blast also blew the roof off the home, causing other explosive damage to the residence. 

There were no people inside the home at the time, but several witnesses said that they saw multiple people flee the home prior to the officers' arrival. 

The Butte Inter-Agency Narcotics Task Force arrived on the scene and continued the investigation. 

The force found a leaking closed loop butane honey oil lab inside the home. Law enforcement cut power and gas to the home. 

Authorities found a total of 23 ounces of hash oil, 261 vape pens, 158 pounds of marijuana and two hits of LSD in the home. 

The investigation also revealed that the home was being used as an illegal hash oil manufacturing location making vape pens for an illegal, Chico-based mobile dispensary. The production and the dispensary were both in violation of California's Proposition 64 and state law. 

Officers located one of the four suspects identified as Brittney Larsen, 28, of Chico.

According to authorities, Larsen's 5-month-old child was present when the hash lab exploded and the child's bedroom was being used to store a large amount of marijuana. 

Larsen was arrested for felony manufacturing controlled substance, maintaining a residence for drug sales and felony child endangerment. 

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