A recent fire at an illegal marijuana grow house in Hayward imperiled half a million dollars worth of marijuana plants before they were discovered and seized by police.
Attention was drawn to the grow house on Friday, Oct. 20, when a resident of a nearby home on Tioga Road noticed a fire at the house’s electric meter and called 911 to report it, according to the Hayward Police Department.
The concerned neighbor who reported the fire and Hayward firefighters both worked to extinguish the blaze, but when firefighters made contact with a resident to check that the fire had not spread to the walls or attic, they learned the home was being used to grow hundreds of marijuana plants and called the police department, police said.
more than 400 plants weighing over 300 pounds, and estimated the street value at more than half a million dollars.
“The conversion of a home to an illegal marijuana grow can be a dangerous operation creating significant fire and ecological hazards to a neighborhood,” police said in a statement released Wednesday, adding that electrical circuits can overload and burst into flames, chemical fertilizers can pose a health hazard and the amount of water demanded by the plants can strain local resources.
Police thanked the resident who spotted the fire for “preventing a serious catastrophe.”