Crews find marijuana grow operation in Tacoma house fire

Staff writerJanuary 16, 2014 

COURTESY PHOTO — Tacoma Fire Department

Firefighters responded to a reported house fire about 4:30 p.m. Thursday at East 50th Street and McKinley Avenue East in Tacoma, to find a fully involved fire in the two-story home.

No one was injured in the blaze, which crews extinguished in about an hour.

Firefighters found a marijuana grow operation in the house, but it was not clear if that was related to the fire, Tacoma Fire spokesman Joe Meinecke said. They had not yet determined the cause of the blaze. The neighbor who called 911 reported hearing possible explosions before the fire started, Meinecke said.

Crews at one point pulled out of the building when they were worried the fire could cause it to collapse, Meinecke said. They fought the blaze from the outside at that point, and reentered the structure when it was safe.

The home is likely a total loss, Meinecke said.

Fire crews called Tacoma police about the grow operation.

“We don’t know the cause of the fire, and we don’t know if they have licenses to grow marijuana there or not,” Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said. “As soon as it’s safe for our forensics unit to go in and take pictures, they’ll photograph everything.”

If it’s determined the grow operation is illegal, police will send a report to prosecutors, Cool said.


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