BAKERSFIELD - Charges may be filed against a man for blowing up his northeast Bakersfield apartment. Investigators say he may have been making drugs illegally. The Kern County District Attorney's office is looking into the fire that injured at least one person.
The Bakersfield Fire Department will not release the man's name. But, the D.A.'s office said it is looking into whether he was making honey oil from marijuana, a process that police say is illegal.
The fire happened August 1st in the 2300 block of Eric Way. Witnesses said there were several explosions. Bakersfield fire officials say three families were displaced and one man was critically burned.
Bakersfield fire investigators are looking into whether the manufacturing of honey oil or pot wax with butane led to the explosion. Police say butane is explosive if not ventilated.
The Bakersfield Fire Department's arson investigators turned the case over to the D.A.'s office last month. Two weeks ago, the D.A. returned the case, asking for further investigation, a common practice that does not mean the case was rejected.
"It just means we want the city fire department to do a little more investigation, a little more work. And, once they send it back to us we'll review it, and if at that point we think there's charges we'll file it then," said Mark Pafford, Deputy District Attorney.
Bakersfield Police say making pot wax is a violation of the Health and Safety Code that says you can't chemically synthesize drugs. Officers say they are working on this case with the fire department, but say it may be hard to prosecute since investigators did not originally suspect drug-making caused the fire.
The Bakersfield Fire Department declined to comment on the case Friday because it is still under investigation.