Sep 27, 2012 / 2:57 pm
The Kelowna Fire Department encountered a grow-op when they responded to a house fire on Old Meadows Road in Kelowna Thursday afternoon.
Platoon Captain Tim Light says they responded after receiving a call from a neighbour reporting smoke and flames coming from the home.
"A lot of smoke, no flames, when we got here," says Light. Two crews were sent into the house, and when the second crew entered the basement through the garage, they discovered the grow-op powered by an illegal hydro bypass.
"As soon as we found it, we got everybody out, not only for the electrical hazards, but sometimes there's booby traps inside these places," says Light.
"This place has been cut up pretty good to route wires and all kinds of power sources to the grow-op itself."
FortisBC was called in to cut power to the home and turn off the gas in order to make it safer for fire crews to enter the property.
The home consists of two different dwellings. Light reports the grow-op was found in the basement unit, and the upstairs tenant told investigators he was unaware of what his neighbour was doing.
"I asked him if he knew what was going on and he said he didn't," says Light.
Other neighbours in the area were unaware of the grow-op as well.
Fritz Mueller lives next door and says was surprised to find out what was going on next door. He was initially alerted to trouble when he smelled smoke from the fire.
He says he never imagined his neighbour was up to anything.
"They were very quiet. I never even knew there was someone living there."
Crews quickly brought the fire under control, and it appears that most of the damage was contained to the lower floor.
Investigators are continuing to search for the cause of the fire.
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