Marin Home, Marijuana Grow Up in Smoke

Monday, Jun 7, 2010  |  Updated 7:30 AM PDT
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Marin Home, Marijuana Grow Up in Smoke

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Sheriff's deputies arrested a 51-year-old man Sunday after a  two-alarm fire at his Marin County home revealed he was growing marijuana,  according to a Marin County sheriff's sergeant.

The home is worth $1.5 million and has beautiful views of the Bay.
     
The fire was reported at about 6:45 a.m. at Rand Robert Gauthier's  home on Beattie Avenue near Novato, sheriff's Sgt. Keith Boyd said.
     
Firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes and discovered a  "very active" fire burning in the basement of the 4,000-square-foot home,  Novato Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Eric Nickel said.
     
Firefighters from Novato, San Rafael, Marinwood and Marin County  responded and controlled the fire by 8:15 a.m., he said.
     
Sheriff's deputies arrested Gauthier after investigators found 50  to 60 marijuana plants and about three pounds of processed marijuana, Boyd  said.
     
No injuries were reported, but Nickel said there was "very  significant" damage to the home due to the blaze.
     
Investigators believe the fire was electrical and might have been  related to the marijuana grow. It was being investigated as suspicious,  Nickel said.
   
 Boyd added, "Indoor marijuana grows increase fire danger."

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