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Grow-op found after West End fires: police

Apartment block, three houses hit

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Winnipeg police discovered a marijuana grow-op after fire crews mopped up following a string of house fires on Victor Street.

They later arrested a resident, Const. Eric Hofley said Sunday.

And careless smoking was determined to be the cause of an apartment fire that forced the temporary evacuation of Manitoba Housing apartment block on Main Street.

The grow-op on Victor Street wasn’t the cause of the fire and in bizarre twist, the pot plants survived the blaze, police said.

"When you’re called for one incident and you discover another, it’s always surprising. Ironically that wasn’t the cause of the fire. It’s a suspicious fire but the grow-op was not the cause of it," Hofley said.

There was no indication the location harbored a grow-op. Nor was the man, 39, now facing drug charges, known to police, Hofley said.

His name was not disclosed, pending a promise to appear in court.

The bust netted 82 plants worth an estimated street value of $91,840, plus grow equipment worth $3,000.

The flames started in a garage behind the home at 707 Victor, spread to the house and then to the houses on either side.

Authorities were still investigating the blaze Sunday.

A cause had yet to be uncovered and it is considered suspicious but Hofley said he could not say if the location was targeted because of the grow-op.

Shortly after 5:15 a.m., the fire broke out in a garage behind a house on the east side of the 700 block of Victor and then spread to the houses on either side.

Minutes after, a second fire started behind an apartment building a few doors away on the west side of Victor at the corner of Wellington Avenue.

The fires caused $400,000 in damage to three houses on the east side of Victor and $30,000 in damage to an apartment building on the west side.

Several people in the apartment building were taken to hospital in stable condition after being exposed to smoke. There were no injuries to the residents of the three houses.

Main Street blaze

Police said careless smoking was the cause of a blaze that forced the evacuation of an apartment block on Main Street.

A 77-year-old man who was taken to hospital in unstable condition after the Saturday afternoon fire was reported in stable condition Sunday.

Police said they tracked the start of the fire to a suite on the fifth floor.

Total damage to the apartment block in the 800 block of Main Street is estimated at $200,000.

 

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Winnipeg police discovered a marijuana grow-up when fire crews moped up after a string of house fires on Victor Street.
They later arrested the resident, police service spokesman Const. Eric Hofley reported Sunday.
And careless smoking was determined to be the cause of an apartment fire that forced the temporary evacuation of Manitoba Housing apartment block on Main Street.
The grow-up on Victor Street meanwhile wasn’t the cause of the fire and in bizarre quirk, the pot plants survived the blaze only to be discovered after fire crews were able to get into the home.
There was no indication the location would harbor such a discovery. Nor was the man, 39, now facing drug charges known to police, Hofley said.
His name was not disclosed, pending a promise to appear in court.
The bust netted 82 plants worth an estimated street value of $91,840.00 plus grow equipment worth another $3,000.
Authorities were taking the find as all in a day’s work, Hofley said.
"When you’re called for one incident and you discover another, it’s always surprising.  Ironically that wasn’t the cause of the fire. It’s a suspicious fire but the grow-op was not the cause of it," Hofley said.
The flames started in a garage behind the home at 707 Victor, spread to the house and then to the houses on either side. Authorities were still investigating the blaze Sunday. A cause had yet to be uncovered and it is considered suspicious but  Hofley said he could not say if the location was targeted because of the grow-up.
Shortly after 5:15 a.m., the fire broke out in a garage behind a house on the east side of the 700 block of Victor and then spread to the houses on either side.
Minutes after, a second fire started behind an apartment building a few doors away on the west side of Victor at the corner of Wellington Avenue.
The fires caused $400,000 total damage to three contiguous houses on the east side of Victor and $30,000 in damage to an apartment building on the west side. The timing of the twin fires is suspicious but authorities have not said if they’re linked.
Several people in the apartment building were taken to hospital in stable condition after being exposed to smoke. There were no injuries to the residents of the three houses.
Meanwhile, on Main Street, a 77 year old man who was taken to hospital in unstable condition after the Saturday afternoon fire was reported in stable condition Sunday.
Police said the cause of the fire is believed to be careless smoking, after they tracked the start of the fire to a suite on the fifth floor.
Total damage to the apartment block in the 800 block of Main Street was estimated at $200,000.
 

History

Updated on Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM CST: Adds police comments from news conference.

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