House Destroyed as Fire in Massachusetts Uncovers Pot Growing Operation
The owners of the house say they were unaware of the operation, and that the basement area was rented out to someone else.
A Sunday night fire which required multiple out of town crews resulted in two arrests, after a marijuana grow operation was was uncovered. According to the Lowell Sun, Minh Phan and Thao Nguyen were arraigned on marijuana cultivation charges Monday in Lowell District Court. The Sunday night fire uncovered a large scale growing facility in the basement. Upon arraignment, the couple reportedly said they had rented out the property, and were not aware of the operation. The Lowell Sun reported bail for Phan, who has a prior record, at $5,000 cash or $15,000 surety. Bail for Nguyen, who has no prior record, was set at $400 cash or $4,000 surety.
Fire Chief Michael Hazel told the Sun a call for the fire came in about 11:15 p.m. Sunday. The first engine company arrived at 11 Hebert Street five minutes later to find heavy fire coming from the front right side of the split-level house. One resident was home at the time of the fire and heard a noise coming from the lower level, Hazel said. When she went to investigate the noise, she found smoke coming from the basement and called 911.
Hazel told the Sun one dog, hiding in fear, did not make it.
Tewksbury's fire investigator and the State Fire Marshal's Office were called to the scene and continue to investigate the cause and origin of the fire.