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Marijuana growing operation found after early morning house fire in central valley

An early morning house fire in the central valley revealed a marijuana growing operation with nearly 100 plants, fire and police officials said Thursday.

Just before 2 a.m., Las Vegas Fire and Rescue responded to 2933 Vegas Drive, near the intersection with Simmons Street, after a passer-by noticed a fire.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the one-story wood-framed house and flames burning through the roof, the Fire Department said in a statement.

When the smoke cleared, firefighters who entered the house found it was vacant and was apparently being used to grow marijuana, the statement said.

Fire investigators determined the fire started at the house’s rear, below the electric meter, where wiring was run together and spliced. An electrical short, caused by faulty wiring, started the fire, which probably smoldered for hours, the Fire Department said.

Most of the damage was confined to the attic, Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski said. He said that once the marijuana plants were discovered, Metropolitan Police Department’s narcotics investigators were called in.

Metro’s narcotics bureau is handling the investigation, and no suspects are in custody, Metro spokesman Larry Hadfield said.

The Fire Department estimated the cost of damage at $70,000.

Contact Christian Bertolaccini at cbertolaccini@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @bertolaccinic on Twitter.

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