LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police officers are searching for suspects in connection with a marijuana grow operation discovered Tuesday night after a house fire on the 6300 block of Isabel Cove Avenue.
Metro spokesman Marcus Martin said the grow house bust was different because officers didn't find it through a tip or staking out the residence. A neighbor called 911 and said the house was on fire, but by the time firefighters arrived to battle the blaze, no one was home.
"There are people in our society right now that say grow houses aren't dangerous," Martin said. "That's absurd as this is the sixth grow house fire since 2009."
Neighbor Marie Greene lives down the street with her kids and said there was nothing to suggest a criminal element had moved in on her block.
"It's a little scary and we don't expect it in a nice neighborhood like this," Greene said. "Of course, it's frustrating to not know this is happening two doors down. I think it's happening everywhere."
Investigators said 107 lbs. of recently harvested marijuana and a single plant were confiscated from the home.
Firefighters found lights and electrical wiring throughout the second floor of home after the fire was extinguished. The discovery adds to the mounting total discovered already in busts since the beginning of the year.
"I think narcotics detectives are astounded by the fact that we recovered more than 8,000 plants in 2012, and we recovered more than 5,000 plants just in January 2013 alone," Martin said.
Martin said the chemicals combined with the watering systems and electrical wiring make the grow houses incredibly dangerous. Investigators added in many cases guns are also found. Officers found close to 200 guns in busts last year alone, he said.
This is the 9th marijuana grow this year. According to Metro Police, officers have recovered an estimated street value of $18.8 million in grow house busts.
Some medical providers say they often deal with Hispanic patients who are afraid to seek medical care. It's hoped the opening of a new medical clinic will change that.