SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Police are investigating a sophisticated marijuana growing operation in an East San Jose home that was discovered by firefighters putting out a blaze late Sunday night.

A black tarp and crumpled garage door littered the front of the two-story house on Scottsville Court, where firefighters were called to extinguish a garage fire at the vacant home.

“Inside the structure was several hundred plants, chemicals such as fertilizer, lighting equipment and also pretty advanced ventilation equipment,” said San Jose fire Captain Reggie Williams.

He said this was the second illegal grow house that has gone up in flames in the last week in San Jose. Firefighters discovered a marijuana grow inside a two-story home on the 1800 block of Fumia Place on January 30th.

“We have had several fires in marijuana grow homes per year,” Williams said. “I can’t tell you how prevalent it is though.”

San Jose police said they are very prevalent, but staffing shortages have prevented investigations from getting very far.

The fire on Sunday night was next door to Carol’s Family Day Care.

Gay Malla, who lives in the neighborhood, said she was concerned about the children and her own safety. “I really don’t feel safe here anymore in the San Jose area,” she said.

The cause of the fire was likely electrical as fire officials said the occupants bypassed the PG&E meter to conceal their power usage.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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