Reports: Southwest Bakersfield explosion that badly injured two men and a dog resulted from drug manufacturing process

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Police say it appears the volatile process of manufacturing butane honey oil is what caused a large explosion at a southwest Bakersfield house that badly burned two men and a dog in January.

“Based on the dangerous, flammable chemicals present in the residence being used in this illegal manufacturing process, when an undetermined ignition source presented, the butane ignited and exploded, causing catastrophic damage to the residence and causing significant injuries to Matthew Hanner and Jay Hanner,” police say in newly released court documents that provide further details on the incident.

Butane honey oil is the term used for the concentrated cannabis chemically extracted from marijuana plants. It’s a form of hashish similar in appearance and viscosity to honey, and the conversion process involves liquid butane and pressure cookers.

Police say in the documents they believe the Hanners had numerous (more than 100) canisters of butane, a large gas cylinder and industrial-sized pressure cookers, among other items used to make honey oil.

Jay Hanner, 59, Matthew Hanner, 39, and Austin Hanner, 18, are each charged with multiple felonies, including arson, in the Jan. 21 explosion in the 11400 block of Privet Place, near Ming Avenue. Jay Hanner is also charged with multiple counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.

No court dates are yet listed for the three men. All three refused to talk with investigators, according to the documents.

Jay Hanner suffered second- and-third-degree burns over 30 percent of his body, while Matthew Hanner had second- and-third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body, the documents say. A doctor who examined them said their injuries were “survivable.”

Austin Hanner was uninjured. The extent of the injuries to the dog, a small pit bull named “Camo,” were not included in the reports.

Jay Hanner has been treated at local hospitals, while Matthew Hanner was transferred to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital due to the severity of his burns.

Matthew Hanner told hospital staff he had been cooking and had adjusted the stove’s setting when the explosion happened, the documents say.

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