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Marijuana Growing Operation Discovered After Pinole House Fire

PINOLE (KCBS) - A fire at a single-story home in Pinole led to the discovery a an indoor marijuana growing operation, according to police.

A Contra Costa County fire investigator was on the scene early Tuesday morning after firefighters found suspicious wiring and plants and called police.

The house on 2900 block of Ramona Street near Pinole Valley High appeared well-kept when firefighters responded to the smoky blaze at around 4:30 a.m.

The garage leads to a back room where an overhead grow light hovered above 5-foot tall marijuana plants.

Officers found some 250 marijuana plants—with a street value of about $750,000 -- along with grow lamps and a hydroponics system, police said. Investigators determined that PG&E service to the home had been bypassed.


No one was inside and no injuries were reported.


The fire caused an estimated $60,000 in damage, but firefighters were able to save the home's living space and most of its contents, according to the fire district.



A fire protection district arson investigator and police detectives were investigating the fire's cause and the associated criminal activity, police said.


(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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