TEWKSBURY (CBS) – A man and woman were arrested shortly after a fire forced them out of the their home in Tewksbury overnight.
Flames broke out in the home on Herbert Street just after 11 p.m. Sunday.
The fire chief said the homeowners heard a loud bang just before they got out of their house, but their dog did not survive.
Police arrested 36-year-old Minh Phan and 35-year-old Thao Nguyen for the "unlawful manufacturing and cultivation of marijuana."
The heat from the flames melted the siding off a large part of the home.
Investigators believe the fire started in the basement, but the cause is still not known.
Police say there was a "sophisticated marijuana growing operation" in the basement with heat lamps and an irrigation system. More than 180 plants were found.
Both Phan and Nguyen were arraigned in Lowell District Court Monday afternoon. Bail was set at $5,000 for Phan and $400 for Nguyen.
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