Suspected Marijuana Extraction Lab Discovered Following Fire at South El Monte Motel; 2 Detained

Two people were taken into custody after several rooms went up in flames at a Motel 6 in South El Monte early Sunday morning, officials said.

Damage to a Motel 6 in South El Monte is seen following a fire at the location on June 18, 2017. (Credit: L.A. County Sheriff’s Department)

Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire officials responded to the motel at 1228 Durfee Ave. around 12:37 a.m., according to a statement from the sheriff’s department.

The flames had spread to both floors of the two-story hotel by the time firefighters arrived on scene, but crews were able to knock down the flames before 1 a.m., the fire department reported.

Arson investigators then responded and found evidence that led them to believe a “honey oil” marijuana extraction laboratory had been operating from the motel, deputies said. Police-related equipment was also recovered, but officials did not specify what kind.

Two people were detained and taken to a nearby hospital with burn injuries, and one dog was taken to a veterinary hospital, also suffering from burn injuries, according to the sheriff’s department.

A third person involved may have fled the location before authorities arrived, deputies said.

The building sustained an estimated $80,000 in damage.

The fire’s cause still had not been officially determined.