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Explosion at Lake County home linked to suspected drug lab

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An explosion and fire at a suspected drug lab in Lucerne sent a Lake County man to the hospital with severe burns Saturday night, sheriff’s officials said.

The blast erupted in a butane honey oil lab in a shed at a home in the 6000 block of First Avenue, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said.

Nicholas Jay Hofer, 36, was inside the shed and sustained severe injuries to his face and upper chest, sheriff’s Lt. Corey Paulich said.

Hofer, who lived on the property owned by his father, is expected to survive, Paulich said. He was transported to Sutter Lakeside Hospital and later airlifted to an out-of-county hospital for treatment.

Deputies suspect Hofer was manufacturing honey oil inside the shed using butane to extract THC from marijuana, Paulich said. While other family members were home at the time, no one else was injured by the explosion.

You can reach Staff Writer Chantelle Lee at 707-521-5337 or chantelle.lee@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ChantelleHLee.

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