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A suspicious fire and explosion at Motel 6 resulted in one suspect hospitalized with severe burns. A Claremont officer on site at the motel was contacted by Los Angeles County Fire around 6:30 p.m. following an explosion and small fire in a motel room.
According to Det. Isaac Reyes, a witness in an adjoining laundry room heard a loud explosion followed by smoke coming through the wall. The witness ran to the room to see what had happened but was dismissed by a woman with two small children, who told him everything was fine. Officers arrived to room 142, discovered the room empty and what appeared to be a honey oil extraction lab in the bathtub.
There was extensive damage to the bathroom wall. Items recovered from the scene include extraction lab paraphernalia, baby formula, baby bottles and toiletries as well as two caged mice, an iguana and a tarantula in two terrariums.
During the course of the investigation, police contacted local hospitals and located suspect Dion Augustine, 34, who had been dropped off at Pomona Valley hospital by a male and female with two children, all of whom smelled of smoke. The Pomona resident was admitted with severe burns to a large portion of his body and later transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. Mr. Augustine has not yet been arrested or charged for the crime due to his injuries. An unidentified female remains a person of interest in this case.
Be sure to check more updates and other COURIER Police Blotter news on Friday.