Man severely burned after Mead Valley honey oil lab fire

MEAD VALLEY — Authorities say a man was severely burned after a honey oil lab exploded and caught a home on fire in Mead Valley early Sunday morning, Oct. 27. The fire happened at a private residence on the 21900 block of Cedar Street, near Old Elsinore Rd.

The man burned in the fire is now facing multiple charges according to officials, who said, “At the direction of Sheriff Chad Bianco, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has a zero-tolerance policy for these offenses.”


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Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters, along with deputies from the Perris Sheriff’s Station and other emergency personnel, responded to the home around 1:15 a.m., after receiving reports of a residential fire with at least one victim injured, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Orlando Castañeda and Cal Fire reported after the incident.

When officials arrived at the home they found 29-year-old Arturo Gutierrez, “who was suffering from severe burns to his upper body,” according to Castañeda.

While Gutierrez was taken to an area hospital to be treated for his injuries, deputies worked with fire investigators to determine the cause of the fire.

During their investigation, officials discovered a butane honey oil lab on the property, according to Castañeda. 

“They also located approximately 501 marijuana plants and 67.5 pounds of processed marijuana,” and all was confiscated the Sgt. continued.

Due to extent of Gutierrez’s injuries, charges will be filed against him out of custody with the District Attorney’s Office.

Anyone with additional information about this investigation is urged to call Deputy Rhea at Riverside County Sheriff’s dispatch at (951) 776-1099, or the Perris Sheriff’s Station at (951) 210-1000. Callers can refer to incident file number PC193000008 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

One comment

  • As if we don’t have enough to worry about with fires starting from high winds and power lines?? Now we also have to worry about these dirt bags cooking up all sorts of junk in their homes and it all explodes. Good to hear that the perp suffered some burn injuries and that no one else got hurt or that it created a wide spread fire in the Riverside County, which could have easily happened.