Santa Cruz House Fire Exposes 100 Pot Plants

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    A dramatic scene played out in the Santa Cruz hills Tuesday after a house caught fire in the tiny town of Soquel.

    Cal Fire crews dispatched a helicopter and air tanker to help battle the flames because of the hilly terrain after house on Chardonnay Road caught fire.

    The woman renting the house, Miae Kim, said she saw plumes of white smoke billowing from the house as she returned from walking her dog. She suspects the fire started after her friend left a burning cigarette on the back deck. The fire moved quickly to the main part of the house.

    Fire crews have determined the fire started on the back deck but Kim's told investigators he put the cigarette out before going into the house to take a nap.

    Once they got into the house, fire crews made an interesting discovery -- 100 marijuana plants growing in the basement.

    Although it's common to hear of fires linked to indoor pot grows in the Bay Area, fire officials say it's not the case in this blaze. Santa Cruz Sheriff's Sgt. Jeremy Verinsky told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that nothing related to the marijuana grow started the fire.

    There's no word so far on who owns the pot plants.

    Nobody was injured in the fire and the house was not destroyed, fire officials said.