Friday, March 19, 2004 | 9:45 a.m.
Clark County firefighters on Thursday responded to a garage fire in a remote area near Las Vegas Boulevard and Blue Diamond Road and discovered a marijuana-growing operation inside, authorities said.
The fire was reported shortly before noon in the 300 block of East Robindale Road, just northwest of Windmill Lane at Bermuda Road. When firefighters arrived they found two Rottweilers and a Mastiff, believed to be guard dogs, outside the detached garage, fire department spokesman Bob Leinbach said.
While dousing the flames, firefighters discovered an elaborate marijuana-growing operation inside. The two-car garage had watering, filtration, drainage and venting systems, as well as a generator and an air conditioner for the illegal plants, Metro Police Lt. Curtis Williams said.
The fire was caused by an improperly installed generator exhaust system in the corner of the building and the blaze caused an estimated $150,000 in damage, fire investigators said.
Williams wasn't certain how much marijuana had been growing. Some of the plants had been destroyed by flames. Others that survived were in various stages of growth, he said. It's not clear how long the operation had been there.
Police were attempting to reach the occupants of the house. Their investigation is continuing.