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Victim of explosion blames pasta. Investigators find something else

Modesto Fire Department, Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, and Ceres Fire Department responded to the report of a working structure fire on the 200 block of Renee Drive on Friday morning, Nov. 30, 2018.
Modesto Fire Department, Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, and Ceres Fire Department responded to the report of a working structure fire on the 200 block of Renee Drive on Friday morning, Nov. 30, 2018. Modesto Fire Department

A 31-year-old man suffered second- and third-degree burns over more than half his body early Friday morning in an explosion at his southeast Modesto home.

The explosion occurred at 2:36 a.m. in a 12-by-12 foot shed behind a home in the 200 block of Renee Drive, according to Sgt. Lance Nicolai.

It blew the walls and roof open and started a fire.

“The victim claimed he was cooking pasta but it was obvious he was not,” Nicolai said.

Lt. Dave Hutchinson, commander of the Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigation Unit, said the explosion and fire were the result of a butane hash oil lab.

The man, whose burns were primarily on his hands and legs, was taken by ambulance to a Modesto hospital then transferred to UC Davis Medical Center’s burn unit in Sacramento.

The Modesto Fire Department kept the fire contained to the backyard of the home.

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