Fire leads detectives to marijuana growing operation in Snohomish

  • Thu Nov 10th, 2011 4:40pm
  • News

By Eric Stevick Herald Writer

SNOHOMISH — An early morning fire Thursday led detectives to a substantial marijuana growing operation south of Snohomish.

Roughly 400 plants were found inside a detached garage and home in the 18000 block of Fales Road southeast of Cathcart, officials said.

The garage, valued at $22,000, was destroyed, said Bruce Pulver, an investigator for the Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office.

The estimated value of the operation is about $400,000, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office bureau chief Kevin Prentiss said. The plants varied in maturity.

Deputies were called to the fire scene around 5:15 a.m.

Firefighters called deputies when they found the growing operation in the garage.

Deputies then contacted the Snohomish County Regional Drug and Gang Task Force to investigate the property.

Snohomish County Fire District 7 was dispatched to the fire just before 5 a.m., fire district spokeswoman Autumn Waite said.

A neighbor called 911 after discovering the fire, Waite said.

When crews arrived they found the detached three-car garage on fire at the end of an 800-foot driveway, she said. Crews had to break through a gate to gain access to the property.

There were no cars inside the garage, fire officials said.

Detectives served a search warrant to examine the remainder of the property.

No one was home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries, Waite said.

No arrests were made Thursday.

More than 18 firefighters responded to the scene.

Pulver said the fire was caused by an overload of the electrical system in the garage.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.