House Fire Leads Owasso Firefighters To Marijuana Growing Operation
OWASSO, Oklahoma - Police took one person into custody after firefighters found marijuana plants growing in an Owasso home's attic Tuesday night.
The Owasso Fire Department was dispatched to a fire at the home in the 14000 block of East 101st Street North at about 10:30 p.m.
Firefighters arrived in the cul-de-sac to find heavy smoke coming from the attic. Owasso Police said firefighters knocked down the fire and discovered what they called a sophisticated marijuana growing room above the garage.
Deputy Chief of Police Jason Woodruff said the grow operation was in a hidden room in the attic.
He said the homeowner, James Ferguson, admitted to growing the plants.
Officers found a ventilation system in the attic and several tubs full of marijuana plants. Authorities say there were more than 40 marijuana plants, bags containing dried and packaged marijuana, scales and $8,000 in cash.
There was also a loaded handgun, according to OPD.
"This case will be submitted to the Tulsa County District Attorney, seeking an out of custody arrest warrant for cultivation of marijuana and other related charges," Woodruff said.
"The official cause of the fire has not been confirmed, but early indications point to a faulty ballast box on the grow lights as the source of the fire (possible electrical short)."
Niki White lives in the neighborhood with her four friends.
"We have block parties, and it's very family oriented," she said. "It's a smaller neighborhood in Owasso. It's not very big. So I was shocked."