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December 17, 2014

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House fire turns out to be grass fire

Firefighters responding to call find possible marijuana grow house

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Jackie Valley

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue responded at about 9:15 a.m. to a fire in the 1900 block of West Mesquite Avenue, near Bonanza Road and Rancho Drive, Friday Oct. 5, 2012. Firefighters discovered a possible grow operation while they were inside the house extinguishing the blaze.

Updated Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 | 5:55 p.m.

Area of fire

A house fire Friday morning west of downtown Las Vegas tipped authorities off to a possible marijuana grow house operation, Metro Police said.

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue responded about 9:15 a.m. to the 1900 block of West Mesquite Avenue, near Bonanza Road and Rancho Drive, after a neighbor reported smoke coming from a one-story wood frame house.

Tim Szymanski, fire spokesman, said after reporting the fire, the neighbor went to the house to offer assistance. The occupant of the house, who was retrieving a garden hose, told the neighbor he had everything under control and didn't want the fire department coming to his home.

Upon arrival, firefighters found a stand-alone air conditioner unit was on fire and put it out, Szymanski said. In the house, they found marijuana plants in what appeared to be a grow operation and requested Metro Police to respond.

Metro Police officers found 12 mature marijuana plants and an unknown number of immature ones. Officers also found numerous chemicals, grow equipment and one pound of harvested marijuana in the home.

Detectives are interviewing one person who was at the home, Metro spokesman Bill Cassell said. No arrests have been made yet. Officials said this was the fifth fire within the Metro Police jurisdiction caused by an indoor marijuana grow operation.

The fire was confined to the one room and caused an estimated $10,000 in damage, Szymanski said.

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