Oakland fire leads to 80 pot plants

May 13, 2008 8:29:33 AM PDT
In Oakland, there was a surprise pot discovery for firefighters after putting out an apartment blaze near Lake Merritt.

Firefighters stumbled on 80 pot plants trying to fight a fire in the building on Lakeshore Avenue.

The fire broke out after 1:00 a.m. Tuesday and burned on the fifth and sixth floor in the rear of the apartment building. The penthouse suite was on fire. The firefighters found pot plants in two units, including that penthouse suite. Ten units were impacted to one degree or another. A dozen people are being helped by the Red Cross. Before they got out themselves, some victims of the fire were helping others.

"There was smoke coming into our apartment. My brother and I came out and saw a woman with her children and we tried to help her. Since then I've been standing here almost three hours," said Kahasy Haymnot, fire victim.

Also being rescued were one dog, two cats and a parakeet.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but there were code violations in the electrical wiring powering the grow lights on the 80 pot plants. One person was injured and treated at the scene and released.


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