Tuesday, September 4, 2001

North Shore blaze
becomes joint fire-police
department affair


Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu firefighters responding to a house fire on the North Shore discovered a commercial marijuana operation going up in smoke, fire department spokes-man Capt. Richard Soo said.

The fire department received calls of smoke coming from a home on Alapio Road in Waimea at about 10:49 p.m. last night.

When firefighters arrived, they discovered the fire in a garage that apparently had been turned into a marijuana-growing operation with lights, air-conditioning and partitions, Soo said.

Soo said firefighters found 24 marijuana plants ready for harvest and 18 starter plants.

Firefighters donned breathing apparatus to put out the fire. He said fighting the fire was complicated by the enclosed area.

Wahiawa police were called and are investigating, Soo said. No one was home at the time of the fire. No one has been arrested.

The cause has not been determined, but Soo said extension cords were being used to run the lights and air conditioning and the fire captain on scene suspects an electrical short.

Damage to the home is estimated at $15,000. There was no estimate this morning of damage to the home's contents.

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