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Stupid Case File for April 17, 2006

SCF Tip: Growing Pot? Buy a Fire Extinguisher!

Courtesy of Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Firefighters dousing a fire in a new home were confused when the man they thought was the owner suddenly left — until they found $700,000 worth of marijuana plants in the basement, officials said.

"It seemed so strange to me" that the man left, said Wadsworth Fire Chief Ralph Copley. "If it were my home burning, I'd want to be there."

After firefighters extinguished the fire, which started in the attic early Friday morning, they found 239 marijuana plants filling one-fourth of the basement, which was wired throughout for indoor plant growing, authorities said.

"It was unreal," Copley said. "In 24 years, I've never seen a fire quite like that."

The Medina County Drug Task Force and firefighters on Friday confiscated items from the home, including peat moss, 1,000-watt bulbs and large reflecting discs. The basement had no fire damage.

The marijuana-cultivating system was wired to the home's electrical system in a way that bypassed the meter, said Michael Barnhardt, acting director of the task force. Such wiring would help a grower avoid the large electric bills that clue in investigators, he said.

Copley said the cause of the fire was unknown, but it did not appear to be related to the marijuana operation or electrical wiring. It caused about $150,000 in damage.

The home, bought for $229,000 less than one month ago, is owned by a Lan Le. There is no telephone listing under that name in the northeast Ohio city 30 miles south of Cleveland.


1 Comments:

Blogger Malinda777 said...

OMG so funny. I have to sadly admit that once upon a young time I grew some pot plants...until I was driving home one night and saw that "mysterious" purple glow in my window that gave me guilt pains enough to pull the plants up at the roots and destroy them before they even had a chance to "produce".

I sure hope there's a passed statute of limitations for confessing something you did over 15 years ago :)

And then there's that other story I already told you about the fire dept. that brought a truck to my shop and cleaned their truck out planning for down time, and then the damn truck caught fire on the way and the fire dept didn't have a fire extinguisher either.

April 20, 2006 12:00 AM  

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