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Pittsburg House Fire Leads To Marijuana Grow Discovery

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Firefighters discovered a marijuana grow operation during a firefight in Pittsburg. (CBS)

Firefighters discovered a marijuana grow operation during a firefight in Pittsburg. (CBS)

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PITTSBURG (CBS SF) — Modified wiring for an illegal marijuana grow operation is suspected to be the cause of a two-alarm fire that destroyed a house in Pittsburg early Friday morning, a fire inspector said.

The fire at 2610 Tampico Drive was reported at 1:10 a.m., Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Inspector Vic Massenkoff said.

Firefighters found the second floor and attic of the two-story home engulfed in flames and worked outside to keep the blaze from spreading to two adjacent houses, Massenkoff said.

When firefighters tried to enter the house, the roof and ceiling collapsed and a second alarm was called. After about 80 minutes, they finally brought the fire under control.

Crews investigating the wreckage found the modified wiring for the illegal marijuana grow operation, which is suspected to be the cause of the fire, Massenkoff said.

Damage to the home, built in late 2012, was estimated at $400,000 and the home is considered a total loss. There was a sprinkler system inside but the water had been shut off so it was not activated.

No one was injured by the blaze, Massenkoff said.

A total of 35 firefighters responded, including ones from Pittsburg, Antioch, Bay Point, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and Pacheco.

Fire officials are asking anyone who sees suspicious activity in unoccupied houses, including alterations such as bars on windows, people coming and going at unusual hours or aluminum foil covering windows, to report that to avoid fires from grow houses or hash oil labs.

Investigators remained at the scene Friday morning to try to determine the cause of the blaze, the dispatcher said.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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