Santa Rosa house fire blamed on marijuana grow

January 25, 2012 1:39:21 PM PST
Overloaded electrical circuits used to grow marijuana likely caused a fire in the bedroom of a west Santa Rosa home Tuesday morning, a Santa Rosa Fire Department captain said.

The fire at 1483 Petersen Lane was reported around 7 a.m., Capt. Sage Howell said.

The only resident home at the time, Carol Terry, said she heard an odd sound in the back bedroom and saw smoke and fire when she opened the door, Howell said.

Terry briefly tried to put out the fire then left the house, Howell said.

Firefighters arrived in five minutes and controlled the blaze in back of the single-story, wood frame house within 10 minutes, Howell said.

The fire caused significant damage to the bedroom and the rest of the house sustained moderate fire and heavy smoke damage, Howell said. Damage to the structure and contents is estimated at $50,000.

The cause is under investigation but it probably started because of an overload of electrical circuits used to grow marijuana in the bedroom, Howell said.

The house also was not equipped with smoke alarms, Howell said.