2 firefighters injured in explosion during illegal pot operation

Two firefighters were injured in an explosion during a fire at an illegal marijuana mining operation hidden away at a commercial building in Southern California, authorities said.

The explosion occurred as fire crews battled the blaze Sunday at the single-story structure in Anaheim, fire officials said.

A firefighter suffered minor facial burns, Anaheim Fire & Rescue spokesman Stephen Peña said. The other injured his back when he was thrown several meters by the blast and fell on his oxygen cylinder, he said. Both should recover.

Firefighters rescued one person from the building who was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to the Orange County Register.

A 37-year-old man found unharmed at the scene of the fire has been arrested on suspicion of producing a controlled substance and crimes related to the fire, Peña said.

The man told authorities he was in the unit that caught fire and that a concentrated marijuana extract known as honey oil was being produced inside, the registry reported. Flammable chemicals like butane are often used to make the substance.

The fire spread to other parts of the building, Peña said. Two people in an adjacent unit that was damaged went to a nearby hospital with unspecified injuries.

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