A massive commercial fire in Adelanto led to the arrests of two people after sheriff’s investigators found marijuana, firearms and “evidence of a butane extraction lab” at the scene of the blaze, authorities said.
Adelanto resident Peng Wei, 41, and Jing Wei Ping, 39, of Daly City, were arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis for sale and manufacturing a controlled substance.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials said the case will be sent to the county District Attorney’s Office for review.
The fire broke out at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in a commercial building and yard in the 11700 block of Hardy Avenue, north of Bartlett Avenue and east of Highway 395.
When firefighters arrived, they found the “well involved” fire burning in the large yard threatening several homes, a strip mall and former county fire Station 321, San Bernardino County Fire Battalion Chief Mike McClintock said.
Power lines were downed and firefighters had to deal with a limited water supply.
A second alarm was requested while crews worked to keep the fire from spreading to the nearby buildings.
Firefighters were able to protect the strip mall and homes but two buildings were destroyed, including the old fire station “which served the area for many years,” McClintock said.
The fire also heavily damaged an agricultural supply company before emergency crews gained control of the blaze after nearly three hours.
— San Bernardino County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) January 13, 2022
A review of county records shows that eight connected parcels in the block where the fire started are owned by a person named Wei Ping Jing.
Members of the sheriff’s Bomb/Arson Team responded and “located evidence of a butane extraction lab and a large quantity of processed marijuana at the scene,” officials said.
Investigators also found processed and concentrated cannabis, a marijuana extraction system, cash and two firearms without serial numbers.
Officials did not give a cause for the fire and said the investigation was ongoing.
Butane — a highly flammable gas and liquid — can be used as a solvent to make a concentrated form of cannabis known as hash or honey oil. The process can be dangerous, however, and has been linked to several fires.
A May 2020 explosion at a downtown Los Angeles warehouse — which housed a smoke and vape shop — injured twelve firefighters.
A report later determined that an “excessive quantity” of nitrous oxide and butane containers inside the shop “fueled the fire,” the Los Angeles Time reported.
Daily Press reporter Martin Estacio may be reached at 760-955-5358 or MEstacio@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_mestacio.
This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Sheriff's investigators find marijuana, butane lab at site of massive fire in Adelanto