Garage fire leads to discovery of 200 cannabis plants

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Emergency services found 200 cannabis plants after a fire started in a Parkvale garage. Photo/file
Emergency services found 200 cannabis plants after a fire started in a Parkvale garage. Photo/file

Emergency services stumbled on 200 cannabis plants at the scene of a house fire in Tauranga.

Fire services were called to a fire in the basement of a house on Hilltop Rd, Parkvale, before 5pm yesterday.

About 200 cannabis plants were found to be growing in the basement and the fire was believed to have started by re-routing electricity.

"This was a sophisticated growing operation," Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner said.

He said diverting power was a dangerous practice, but unfortunately common when cultivating cannabis.

A man was charged with the cultivation of cannabis and appeared in Tauranga District Court this morning.

"An inquiry is under way to established any criminal liability in relation to the fire and identify anyone else who might be associated with the cannabis operation," Mr Turner said.

Anyone who knew of people illegally re-routing electricity should alert police, he said.

A fire communications spokeswoman said two fire units responded to the fire yesterday evening.

It was a small fire when they arrived and firefighters quickly extinguished it and dampened down hot spots.

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